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Every day, hundreds of sick and injured patients walk into free and charitable clinics around the Tampa Bay area in need of a doctor.Many are suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients were referred to the clinics by staff at hospitals where they landed after years of neglecting to care for treatable conditions.The clinics allow the patients to pay what they can, or nothing at all. They are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time. They survive off donations and small grants.Many of the patients have jobs but they are living paycheck to paycheck. None have health insurance, either because they do not qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private coverage. For these patients, the clinics are often their only option for primary care.

Child Psychologist Says Parents Should Have Honest Conversations With Kids About Pandemic

Host Matthew Peddie (on right) talks with Kimberly Renk, a UCF professor who specializes in child psychology (on left).
Host Matthew Peddie (on right) talks with Kimberly Renk, a UCF professor who specializes in child psychology (on left).

Children of all ages are having a hard time processing how coronavirus has changed their lives.

Psychologist Kimberly Renk said parents can help kids organize those feelings. But the University of Central Florida professor said parents first need to assess how they're being affected by the pandemic.

“Am I having a struggle? Do I need to do anything for me to be more effective with my children?” Renk said. “And then take care of themselves first, and that then puts them in a safe place where they can then help their children manage whatever feelings they are having.”

Renk shared her advice Tuesday on The State We're In - a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando.

She said there's no playbook for parents dealing with the unprecedented situations brought on by coronavirus.

Parents should trust themselves, she said, because they know their children best and should have honest conversations about the pandemic that are appropriate to a child's age and understanding. 

To see the full conversation and more of her advice, click the link below. Also, visit The State We're In Facebook page.

This story is produced in partnership with America Amplified, an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7