By  Alyson Klein 

There’s been a quieter, parallel pandemic happening alongside COVID-19: a spike in significant mental health problems among young people, spurred by isolation, uncertainty, fear, and grief.

Mental health emergency visits among children are on the rise. Between March and October of 2020, they increased 24 percent for children ages 5 to 11, and 31 percent for kids ages 12-17. There was also a more than 50 percent spike in visits for suspected suicide attempts among girls ages 12 to 17 in early 2021, compared to the same period in 2019.

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Trends in U.S. Emergency Department Visits Related to Suspected or Confirmed Child Abuse and Neglect Among Children and Adolescents Aged <18 Years Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January 2019–September 2020

By The C.D.C. Heightened stress, school closures, loss of income, and social isolation resulting from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have increased the risk for child abuse and neglect (1). [...]

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