U.S. Surgeon General Indicates A Youth Mental Health Crisis Is Upon UsMay 12, 2022 3:13 pm
For over a decade, leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic a crisis was forming among our youth. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is now signaling that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues among youth and has indicated that the country must focus on helping youth navigate their mental health in an unprecedented way.
Adding to the already troubling information around youth mental health before the pandemic is that a staggering 160,000 young people have lost a primary caregiver to the COVID-19. With this type of trauma piled on to the rest of the issues facing our youth, times are calling for a coordinated effort to address this crisis.
What are some of the things we can do to help address this mental health crisis?
1.) An important element to the response to the youth mental health crisis is to care for the providers who are administering services to these young people. Healthcare workers and teachers are extremely burnt out and are seeing rises in their own mental health issues. We must first make sure those that are on the front line of this crisis are taken good care of for long-term success.
2.) The recommendation of adding school counselors to schools from primary to secondary is one that is important in bringing resources to young people where they have the easiest access to them. While this may be an expensive endeavor it has tremendous promise in helping students who are facing increased anxiety and depression.
3.) Empower parents who are battling so much from the pandemic to be a source of comfort and wellness for their children. Many parents have faced economic and health challenges during the pandemic and they must be supported so they can have a continued positive impact on their children.
There is no easy solution to the youth mental health crisis. It is clear, however, that coming out COVID-19 we are going to need a holistic approach to the crisis and truly are going to need to live up to the old expression, “it takes a village…” to keep our kids safe and supported in these difficult times.
For more on youth mental health you can visit this website.