Updated: Jun 4
By Gerard Lovett
I'RAISE School Social Worker
The statistics concerning children and adolescents’ mental health during the COVID-19
pandemic are alarming.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that from March to October of 2020, the proportion of children between the ages of 5 and 11 visiting an emergency room due to a mental health crisis increased by 24 percent compared to the previous year. Among 12 to 17 year olds, the amount increased by 31 percent.
From being socially isolated for over a year to having a loved one die or get sick, or experiencing the fear of it happening, it is very clear that addressing children's and adolescents’ mental health is more important than ever.
I’RAISE’s Schools Team recently met with the administrative team at one of our partner schools, and they emphasized the need for students to receive counseling.
Despite all of this, the funding for mental health services has been decreasing, and the societal stigma about mental health still persists. The actress Glenn Close once said, “What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”
Let us use the occasion of Mental Health Awareness Month to advocate for more funding of these much-needed services, and work to eliminate the harmful stigma concerning mental health.
Wondering how New York City schools can support students as they transition back to in-person schooling in the fall? Social workers and principals discuss this in our pertinent panel discussion. Sign up here.
Arkin, D. (2020, November 12). Covid stress taking a toll on children’s mental health, CDC
finds. NBC News.com. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/covid-stress-taking-toll-children-s-mental-health-cdc-finds-n1247540
Glenn Close Quotes. Quotefancy.com. https://quotefancy.com/quote/1137780/Glenn-Close-What-mental-health-needs-is-more-sunlight-more-candor-more-unashamed
Photo credit: pexels.com/@rodnae-prod