The Kids Are Not All Right: How The Pandemic Has Intensified Mental Health Problems for Young People

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The coronavirus pandemic is taking a major toll on the mental health of children and teenagers, who experts say are reporting increased levels of anxiety and major depression. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that mental health-related visits to emergency rooms jumped by 24 percent for children ages 5 to 11 and 31 percent for youth ages 12 to 17 years old from April to October in 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Experts say increased isolation, families facing financial hardships, as well as fears about the pandemic itself are fueling the trends. We talk about how the pandemic has exacerbated existing mental health problems and created new ones for young people.

For more mental health resources, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Valley Children's Healthcare list of resources.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (en español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: dial 711, then 1-800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.)


Ken Berrick, president and CEO, Seneca Center

Nadia Ward, professor and psychologist, Clark University Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise

Amanda Suplee, pediatric psychologist, Valley Children's Healthcare