Leading medical teams in child and adolescent psychiatry have declared a state of emergency in the face of long-term isolation, uncertainty and grief triggered by corona virus infections.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Association of Pediatric Hospitals, said the corona virus infection has exacerbated the existing mental health crisis among children and adolescents.
The groups said the imbalances resulting from structural racism contributed to the proportional impact of the epidemic on children of color communities.
Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that the loss of a loved one affects children and adolescents more than other ages. More than 140,000 children in the United States have lost at least one caregiver since the outbreak, and young people of color are proportionately affected.
“This worsening crisis in child and adolescent mental health is inextricably linked with the stress brought about by the Covit-19 and the current struggle for racial justice, and marks the acceleration of trends seen before 2020.”
Prior to the outbreak, mental anxiety and suicide among children and adolescents increased steadily between 2010 and 2020. By 2018, suicide will be the second leading cause of death for young people aged 10 to 24.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between March and October 2020, emergency care visits for children with mental illness increased by 24 percent for children between the ages of 5 and 11 and by 31 percent for children between the ages of 12 and 17. Up to 17, ER visits identified as a result of suicide attempt increased by more than 50 percent in early 2021, compared to the same period in 2019
“We care about young people whose stress, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and suicide have a lasting impact on their families, their communities and all of our futures,” says Gabriel A. Carlson, president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said in a statement. “We can’t just sit around.”
Companies are urging policymakers to take steps to increase federal funding to ensure families have access to mental health services, support effective models of school-based care, and accelerate the integration of mental health care into child health care.
The U.S. Recovery Program has allocated $ 80 million to the Child Mental Care Access Program to integrate behavioral health needs into child primary care and to support youth suicide prevention programs. The program contributed $ 50 million to community-based funding for epidemiological local behavioral health needs.
Finding a provider is difficult. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry announced earlier this year that there was a severe shortage of child psychiatrists in every state in the country.
Getting emergency mental health care for children can be even more challenging, especially when the emergency room is full. When there were more hospitals in Colorado and Connecticut earlier this year, children were sent out of state for care.