COVID, mental health and schools: our kids are suffering and it's not all right

The New York Times recently reported on the rising prevalence of mental illness and suicide among adolescents the last couple of years.

Did we really need a year of data to show us children were suffering?

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While the histrionics of educator and social justice demonstrations captured the attention of much of the media early in the pandemic, the harm being done to children was getting less fanfare.

Increased mental health visits by teens were being reported by Fair Health in August 2020 from assessing insurance claims during March and April during the first wave of the pandemic, but pediatricians and other experts remained quiet.

Global data showed school reopening did not cause a rise in community viral transmission. Die Sentrums vir Siektebeheer en -voorkoming (CDC) even state on their website that school reopening for in-person learning does not pre-date increases in community transmission. But evidence of the harms of closure was piling up.

Prioritizing a return to normalcy for our children will not only decrease the risk of anxiety, depressie, and suicidal ideation, but potentially help identify a child struggling in silence.

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