Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

More US children in psychiatric care during covid crisis

The covid repression

Published 15 April 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The greatest increase in mental health problems was among girls.

The number of children with serious mental health problems increased significantly during the coronavirus crisis in the United States. Pediatric emergency departments saw more children and teens needing psychiatric care than before, according to a study.

The study, published in Academic Emergency Medicine, compared admissions to nine pediatric emergency departments in the US between 2017 and 2022 for children aged five to 17. It was further divided into the periods of January 2017 to February 2020 (pre-pandemic), March 2020 to December 2020 (early pandemic), and all of 2021 (mid-pandemic) and all of 2022 (late pandemic).

It showed that there was a large increase in the number of children admitted to psychiatric wards during the coronavirus crisis compared to before. Visits in which a child spent more than 12 hours in a psychiatric emergency department increased from 7% to 15% in 2021 and to nearly 20% in 2022. The number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and even substance abuse also increased during the coronavirus crisis.

The number of girls seeking emergency care for psychiatric problems increased the most, according to the study. This was particularly true in 2021 and 2022.

“Unique vulnerability for girls”

– We observed a unique vulnerability for girls during the pandemic, which indicates that girls’ mental health requires more attention, Dr. Jennifer Hoffmann of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago told the Mirror.

Hoffmann says the increase also shows that children’s long stays in mental health clinics indicate a strain on the US health care system.

– The dramatic increase in prolonged ED stays attests to the strain on the system and difficulties finding appropriate psychiatric care for children, whether in the hospital or in the community, she said.

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