We’re Not All Having the Same Pandemic, with Rabah Kamal and Dr. Carole Campbell Swiecicki

Season 2Episode 12June 11, 2020

Rabah Kamal from Kaiser Family Foundation offers insights into the impact of the pandemic on mental health, and Carole Campbell Swiecicki from Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center gives us the perspective from the field.

We have two guests for you: one offering insights into research on the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on mental health, and the other giving us the perspective from the field. First up is Rabah Kamal, a senior policy analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Before COVID-19, about one in five adults in the U.S. reported being worried, anxious, or depressed on a regular basis. Among teenagers, about 12% reported anxiety or depression. And that was before a global pandemic hit. What impact is the pandemic having on mental health? What factors raise the risk of problems? What helps?

Then you’ll hear from Carole Campbell Swiecicki at Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in South Carolina about the mental health impact of the pandemic on her CAC’s clients, her staff, and the CAC’s multidisciplinary team partners.

Topics in this episode:

  • Prevalence of mental health issues in the U.S. (1:52)
  • Impact of COVID-19 on mental health (4:29)
  • Innovation and the future (26:45)
  • Health care workers and first responders (36:48)
  • What families are facing (40:36)
  • Essential vs. non-essential workers (44:19)
  • Impact on kids, and how we can help them (49:27)
  • Going back to work (1:01:15)


Rabah Kamal is a senior policy analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) which is not related to any health insurance organizations

KFF’s “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use

The National Survey of Children’s Health

Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Coping with Stress

Carole Campbell Swiecicki, Ph.D., is executive director of Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center and a clinical assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Video diaries appeared in a CBS News story in May 2020

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: COVID-19 Behavioral Health ResourcesMental Health and Coping links for individuals; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) COVID-19 resources

Our own COVID-19 resource page is publicly available

Transcript to come.