Children’s mental health declared a national emergency

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:23 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Children’s mental health is now considered a national emergency according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Children’s Hospital Association.

The alarming statement stems from reports from the CDC showing mental health emergency visits are up 24% in children 5-11 and 31% in adolescents 12-17. The report also shows attempted suicides are up 51% in girls aged 12-17.

“I’ve had a lot of my own students who have been hospitalized for mental health reasons and it’s really frightening,” says Elizabeth Strimbu, a high school guidance counselor.

Lisa Strolman, a clinical psychologist, says the emergency declaration is late. She says people in her field have been trying to warn people about kids’ mental health during the pandemic for a year now.

“It’s really frustrating having done this for 15-16 years where I can see the difference in pace and urgency as a clinician, as a mom, as a community member, where if we don’t do something now were going to see five years from now, 10 years down the road, a larger crisis on our hands,” said Strolman.

For tips on how to combat mental health emergencies in teens, visit AZ Family.

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