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Online tool helps track kids' mental health during pandemic

Researchers are logging submissions from parents and students to track the short and long-term effects the pandemic has on kids.

An online tool is helping track the mental health toll of the pandemic on children. Researchers believe getting input from families now will help create solutions faster.

Experts say it's a step in the right direction. Pages of parent videos, audio recordings and word clouds fill the crisislogger.org website.

"I think every one of our kids has suffered some mental health issues because of this," one parent said in a video from June.

"I think it's a real, great interruption into young people's lives," a mother said in a video from April.

Families are giving researchers an eye into how their family is feeling during the pandemic.

"It's so important that we have these experiences coming from families and those families can provide that information to the people who need it, which is those scientists," Licensed Professional Counselor Melissa Rose said.

The study is all through a free online form through the Child Mind Institute's Matter Lab, all located on the crisislogger.org landing page.

This is an incredibly challenging time, and the pandemic has transformed our lives in ways we never could have imagined. We're concerned about the health of our loved ones, grateful for the medical heroes and essential workers in our communities, and trying our best to adapt to this new normal.

The goal is to track the short and long-term mental effects of the pandemic on kids, which doctors say is at "disastrous proportions" as we navigate through the new year.

RELATED: Children's mental health needs reaching 'disastrous proportions' during pandemic

"Now more than ever, it's imperative that we have information that we can provide researchers and scientists with, so that the data and things can be updated," Rose said.

Rose knows how the pandemic is wreaking havoc on kids' mental health, and believes the research is a two-fold accomplishment. It lets parents know they are not alone and gives scientists the information they desire.

That's why she's encouraging families to submit videos, audio recordings and statements to the website.

"Those things trickle down to us as the providers in the community and giving us better methods and treatments that we can then extend back to the community," Rose explained.

Word clouds sprinkled with the words "health, time, school, friends and fears" shed light on what families are worried about, but many are remaining hopeful for the horizon.

Rose said parents are on the front lines when it comes to their kids' mental health. It's important to be educated and aware to help your child through mental health battles.

RELATED: Monitoring kids' mental health as the pandemic continues

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