CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The COVID-19 pandemic created challenging situations for many of us, especially for families who saw a loss of income, increasing fears of homelessness, and having to supervise children’s schooling from home.

For children who were already living in homes with abuse, neglect, violence and substance abuse, the pandemic increased the risk of danger for them. School is usually the first line of defense where teachers, counselors, and nurses see children in person and can gauge a child’s physical and mental health. Now that school is back in-person, the impact of what happened to those children has become visible.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and this week on 22News InFocus we’ll be looking at what’s being done to address this issue in Massachusetts. In the first half hour program our guest will be Mary McGeown, Executive Director for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC). In the second half, Michelle Michaelian, Vice President for Children and Youth at the Behavioral Health Network (BHN) will join us.

Use this link to get information about the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the programs and services they offer.

Information about the Behavioral Health Network‘s programs and services can be found here.

Watch 22News InFocus Sunday at noon for information on how to provide help to children who are struggling with abuse or mental health issues. If you miss any of the program, you can watch it on WWLP.com.