September 30, 2022

Taquer-Tech

Melts In Your Technology

Pandemic-related mental health issues not going away

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The number of young people dealing with mental health issues has been increasing for at least a decade, and the pandemic has made it worse, experts say.

Melissa Santos, the senior pediatric psychologist at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, said while the mental health crisis came to light for many during the pandemic, it had already existed for teens and adolescents.

“COVID put a spotlight on it and amplified it,” Santos said. “We have seen an increase, but it wasn’t good before the pandemic, and we were definitely struggling before the pandemic with a large number of kids needing services and a large number of kids not being able to access services. But COVID definitely put a spotlight on it.”

Statistics show an uptick in mental health problems among youth for more than a decade.

More than one in three high school students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40 percent increase since 2009. Also in 2019, about one in six youth reported making a suicide plan in the past year, a 44 percent increase in 10 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From 2010 to 2020, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Connecticut residents ages 15 to 24 and the third leading cause of death for those ages 10 to 14, the CDC reports.

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