By: Madeline Ottilie
CINCINNATI — The #pandemic has had a major impact on the #mentalhealth of kids and #teens across the country.
The #CentersforDiseaseControl found that suspected #suicideattempts for #teens went up this spring.
In May 2020, during the #COVID-19 #pandemic, emergency department visits for suspected #suicideattempts began to increase among children ages 12–17 years-old, especially #girls.
From February to March of 2021, suspected #suicide attempt visits to the emergency room were 50.6% higher among girls aged 12–17 years than during the same period in 2019. Similar visits for boys increased by 3.7%.
The Children’s Home of Cincinnati provides treatment for kids facing social and #behavioralchallenges. Debbie Gingrich, chief clinical officer for the Children’s Home, said referrals were down at the start of the #pandemic as more people stayed home. But by January 2021, those referrals started picking up.
“When kids were pulled from different social environments, the outlets that they had with the peer groups, you know, and at different ages, that’s really important for kids’ development is how they identify,” Gingrich said. “Building their own identity, but also connecting with their peer groups. You know, missing those interactions and connections was really important.”
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
March hit a peak, and demand has continued throughout the summer. Many are struggling with #anxiety and are hesitant in social situations, while others are struggling with #depression or suicidal intent. Debbie Gingrich said she thinks we’re just beginning to see how the #pandemic has impacted young people and believes we’ll get a better idea as things return to normal.
If your child isn’t acting like they used to, Gingrich recommends reaching out to a pediatrician, #school #counselor or the Children’s Home to get an assessment.