Mental Health Challenges In Childs & Young Adults Are Real & Widespread

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : December 30, 2021

United States Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has shown concerns regarding the psychological wellbeing of children and young adults in the country.

Mental Health Challenges In Childs & Young Adults Are Real & Widespread

He said that issues like depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders have been increasing in the country’s youth ever since the virus was discovered in 2019. He’s used various studies and surveys to back his statements.

Mental Health Challenges In Childs & Young Adults Are Real & Widespread

A Surgeon General’s advisory was released in the first week of December. The advisory works towards spreading awareness about the adverse effects that this ongoing pandemic has on the mental health of the young American population.

Dr. Murthy has talked in length about how a pandemic affects mental health and why we must take this issue very seriously. He has focused on how to identify these problems in children and what parents can do to help them so that no negativity makes a home inside their heads.

Study shows that the psychological health of American children has been in decline for more than 15 years now. Anxiety, depression, prolonged stress, suicidal thoughts, and loneliness have risen to 51% in young girls and about 4% in boys since 2019.

Although this rise in mental health issues is nothing new to American adolescents, the rate at which suicide attempts have increased in children from 13 to 18 years of age is staggering. Self-harm and suicide attempts have jumped from 6% per 100,000 in 2007 to 11% per 100,000 children in 2018.

As many as 6600 young people committed suicide in the year 2020. Data suggests that between 2009 and 2019 the major cause for disabilities in American children was their deteriorating mental health.

One in five children from ages 3 to 17 in the U.S. felt mentally and emotionally suffocated, finding it difficult to develop psychologically. Maturity comes with age but the American society has failed to acknowledge what exactly the youth needs.

People are busy living up to the standards that society has set for them and forget about the importance of mental peace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that between the years 2009 and 2019, a 40% increase was witnessed in high school students having persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.

More than 140,000 children have lost a caregiver and are bound to feel some level of trauma or emotional distress. The point is to make them realize what they’ve lost of real but that’s not the end and life would not stop here. It is important to talk to these children and make them feel valued.

The Health Advisory.

Dr. Vivek Murthy talked about how the COVID 19 pandemic has caused more mental damage to children than anybody else in the United States, and he also mentioned a lot of essential things for the wellbeing of the nation. 

Key takeaways from the Surgeon General’s Health Advisory would be as follows:

  • Realisation of the importance of mental wellbeing and understanding that it is a reason to be concerned about.
  • Teach the kids how to deal with adverse emotions and difficult situations.
  • Make sure that if a child shows signs of distress or depression, then they must be given proper medical and emotional support. Let these children know that they’re not alone and things will get better with time.
  • Bridge the social and economic gap between different sections of the society and not let there be a disparity of any sorts as that might be the cause for poor mental development in kids.
  • Regulating the use of technology and social media. Addressing the bad impact of social media on youth’s mental and emotional upbringing. Promoting healthy use of technology and making sure that the children are not exposed to the explicit side of technology.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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