The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of children.
According to a Mental Health America report, the rate of 11- to 17-year-olds who underwent anxiety and depression tests last year was 9% higher than in 2019.
In an effort to help children with behavioral health issues, Children’s Health will continue to offer its school-based TeleBehavioral health program to more than 200 schools in North Texas to provide access to behavioral health physicians during the summer holidays. .
During the summer, the continuation of the program means that children can continue with vital services or even start receiving help from home.
Doctors said suicide attempts and suicide among children have increased since 2008, but recently the number of emergency room visits has doubled.
Economic and family stressors and isolation, all related to the pandemic, could be factors.
“Depression has increased. Anxiety has increased. Intentional self-harm, suicidal behavior with a plan, those numbers are very high,” said Dr. Betsy Kennard, a psychiatrist and psychologist at Health and Children’s Southwestern UT.
The crisis is widespread.
Cook Children in Fort Worth reported last month that suicide was now the leading cause of trauma deaths at his hospital, outweighing child abuse and car accidents.
The mental health status of children during the pandemic is a growing concern, some call it a public health crisis. Local hospitals say the number of children entering emergency rooms for emotional or behavioral health issues is at a level never seen before. Bianca Castro, of NBC 5, reports that they are preparing for the trend to continue.
The hospital has treated children up to 7 years old.
Many children are insensitive to the images they see on the Internet and social media.
Suicide prevention organizations like the Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation listen to parents every day.
“The other day I had a parent tell me,‘ Well, I really want to be able to trust my kids, ’” said Christina George, the foundation’s executive director. “We need to think about our kids. They are impulsive. Your frontal lobes aren’t fully developed and sure, it’s okay to trust your kids, but you can trust what they see behind the screen. “
The organization offers free virtual training, called QPR, for anyone who wants tools to identify people at risk and prevent suicide.
QPR stands for Ask, Persuade and Refer, the three simple steps anyone can learn to save a life from suicide.
Just as CPR-trained people and the Heimlich maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, QPR-trained people learn to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and to question, convince and refer someone. to help him.
To register, click here.
Cook Children’s Hospital has also launched a suicide prevention campaign with valuable resources for families.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or contact the crisis text line by sending a message to “Start” at 741741.