Young People Face ‘Devastating’ Mental Health Crisis: Surgeon General
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says there was a mental health crisis among younger Americans even before the pandemic struck, with one in three high school students reporting persistent sadness or hopelessness. News outlets cover other mental health issues.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Warns About Youth Mental Health
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has a warning about the mental health of young people. Murthy told Morning Edition that children and young adults were already facing a mental health crisis before the coronavirus pandemic began: One in three high school students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, a 40% increase from 2009 to 2019, he said. Suicide rates went up during that time by 57% among youth ages 10 to 24. During the pandemic, rates of anxiety and depression have increased, he said. The pandemic has made the issues behind the mental health crisis only worse, he said. (Ritchie, 12/7)
The New York Times:
Surgeon General Warns Of Youth Mental Health Crisis
The United States surgeon general on Tuesday warned that young people are facing “devastating” mental health effects as a result of the challenges experienced by their generation, including the coronavirus pandemic. The message came as part of a rare public advisory from the nation’s top physician, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, in a 53-page report noting that the pandemic intensified mental health issues that were already widespread by the spring of 2020. (Richtel, 12/7)
In other news about mental health care —
Illinois Courts Seek Compassion, Hope For Mentally Ill
Illinois courts are taking steps toward better understanding mental illness and its growing impact on the judicial system, which state Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke said Tuesday too often lacks compassion, treats mental disorders as a crime and skirts alternatives to jail. Burke told reporters that her “call to action” came in response to a report her committee issued last year after months of study. It’s part of a national effort to review courts’ interactions with defendants or litigants who deal with mental health issues and so-called co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse. (O'Connor, 12/8)
North Carolina Health News:
Vets Are Connecting To Mental Health Care. Is It Enough?
Cornelia Vincent still struggles with the trauma she experienced years ago when a grenade pierced the tower where she was on guard while serving 10 months in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army. The explosion left the former unit supply specialist in the military police force with a shrapnel wound on her wrist and a gash on her head. Vincent, who’s now in her 30s, suffers from internal scars, too, trying to deal with a stew of stress and unresolved emotions that roil inside her long after she completed her stint in the Army from 2011 to 2014. (Dougani, 12/8)
The New York Times:
Pediatricians Find Children Need Much More Than Vaccines
Near the end of one of the first days that 5- to 11-year-olds could get a coronavirus shot last month, Dr. Anne Steptoe, a pediatrician, sat hunched in her cramped office between packages of diapers, onesies and children’s books, cataloging the week’s patients on her laptop. One teenage girl had been sleepless and suicidal; another was anemic. Several young boys had gained weight during the pandemic. A 10-year-old had been plagued by asthma attacks and was using her inhalers incorrectly. Another child of the same age needed a mental health consultation after angry outbursts at school. (Weiland, 12/7)