June 18, 2023 | 4:57pm
Grim numbers released Tuesday by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that 15 percent of American children ages five to 17 recently received treatment for mental health conditions in 2021, raising concerns about the depth of the health crisis ever-expanding mentality of the country.
Adolescents showed the worst numbers in the summary data, with 18.9% of children aged 12-17 receiving care that includes therapy and counseling or prescription medication versus 11.3% of children to the youngest age group.
The data also showed that white children were the racial demographic most likely to receive mental health care, and children in urban areas were more likely to receive treatment than those in rural areas.
The numbers confirm trends in recent years that have warned of a decline in mental well-being, with a cocktail of issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, social media and other environmental stressors creating a recipe for the disaster.
Dr. Gregory Jantz, a psychologist and adolescent depression specialist evaluated the data in an email to Fox News Digital Wednesday, saying the even more alarming statistic is that a shocking number of young people are not getting the care they need. need.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the highest rate of people with mental health problems is among 18-25 year olds (30.6%). According to Mental Health America, 60.3 percent of young people with major depression received no mental health treatment at all, he wrote.
If US children (ages 5-17) don’t get the mental health care they need, the need doesn’t go away and follows them into adulthood. Reaching adulthood does not automatically translate into greater access to services.
He added that a shortage of mental health providers could exacerbate the crisis.
While the number of children accessing mental health services has increased, that does not mean there are enough professionals to provide what they need. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for U.S. children, ages 10 to 14, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), it warned.
Currently, there is a general shortage of mental health professionals who can provide care. According to NAMI, there is one provider for every 350 people in need of services.
Parents seeking mental health treatment for their children should seek out a provider who has the necessary credentials to provide appropriate care for children, Jantz said.
She also urged parents to seek input from other adults who are commonly around their children if they are unsure whether they should be concerned about their children’s mental health.
Also, just a few months ago, the Pediatrics Journal analyzed Medicaid data and found that 26 percent of children who had gone to the emergency room for mental health issues had done so more than once in six months.
The study confirmed reports of increases in parents taking their children to the emergency room for mental health issues.
Dr. Jennifer Hoffmann, emergency physician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospitalof Chicagoshe told Fox News Digital at the time that the purpose of taking children to the emergency room for treatment is to establish ongoing treatment to help address the problem.
He added that one of the problems with the treatment is that most who try it once fail to follow up later.
CDC data indicated that, between March and November 2020, during the COVID pandemic, mental health-related emergency room visits increased by 31 percent for children ages 12 to 17 and by 24 percent for children ages 5. to 11 years old.
The crisis rears its ugly head in other ways, including separate CDC data indicating that depression and anxiety have increased over time, now with an estimated 5.8 million children experiencing anxiety and an estimated 2.7 million suffering of depression.
Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has sounded the alarm about a similar mental health problem affecting many in the United States, namely what he described as an epidemic of loneliness, a problem that could have life-threatening consequences.
We now know that loneliness is a common feeling that many people experience. It’s like hunger or thirst. It’s a feeling the body sends to us when something we need to survive is missing, Murthy said, according to The Associated Press.
Millions of people in America are struggling in the shadows, and that’s not right, he continued. That’s why I’ve issued this notice to pull back the curtain on a struggle too many people are experiencing.
Murthy released the 81-page warning on the matter last month, warning that the physical dangers of loneliness are comparable to those of smoking.
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