Officials warn children’s mental health worsens amid pandemic

Officials and experts have sounded the alarm over the state of children’s mental health as the second pandemic year comes to a close, warning a crisis is emerging – but advocates, hospitals and schools say it may have already arrived.

Short-staffed children’s hospitals were slammed with increased emergency department visits for mental health, suicide and self injury cases in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period last year.

At the same time, already strained schools with limited resources have been left to face a growing need for mental health assistance as many children returned to in-person school this fall with increased symptoms of depression and anxiety after COVID-19 flipped their worlds upside down.