Kids experiencing mental health breakdowns have clearly not decreased since the pandemic. Kids have been increasingly depressed and anxious due to the pandemic and being stuck at home for most of the day. This becomes an increasing issue as children don't get the same interactions and stimulation as they would while they are in school. On top of that, the pressure of having to study and learn an entire year's worth of material virtually could be mentally draining. Currently in many parts of the US and the world, the demand for mental health care overwhelms supply, creating bottlenecks.
For many people who arrive at the ER, they typically wait a few hours, get treated and get sent home or get transferred to a hospital bed. However, for those experiencing psychiatric episodes like a situation in which one is threatening to kill themselves, they typically get stuck in the ER. The CDC states that ER visits after suicide attempts among teen girls were up 51% earlier this year compared to 2019. Space was an issue especially during the pandemic when double beds and Psych units were transformed into COVID units.
There are delays for every type of psychiatric care both residential and for out-patient with waits lasting up to 5 weeks or more for therapy. Emergency rooms can't provide the necessary care and the warehousing of kids during a crisis could be an emergency itself. There is clearly a shortage of mental health treatments and access especially for kids. If you need to speak to a child and adolescent psychiatrist to help with the issues discussed above, schedule a visit to speak with our double board certified psychiatrist to specializes with these age groups today.
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