COVID Is Causing A Dangerous New “Spike” In Children
(ReliableNews.org) – The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on people around the world mentally, physically, and financially. For young people in the United States, the toll has been especially harrowing, causing many youths to reach out for mental help. On May 31, 70% of schools across the US reported an increase in students asking for mental health services since the start of the pandemic. That number tracks with the reported increase in depression among young people, which now stands at a whopping 76% of those in public school.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
NCES Commissioner Peggy Carr said the COVID-19 pandemic had taken its toll on the nation’s youth. She said the need for mental health service availability in schools is critical now more than ever before. Unfortunately, only about half of public schools across the country feel they have adequate services to meet the increased demand. Almost all public schools reported they provided some type of mental health service during the 2021/2022 calendar school year.
The NCES cites the reasons schools don’t feel prepared as threefold. They don’t have enough funding to support the measure, they don’t have enough professionals currently to handle the number of cases coming in, and they simply aren’t able to find and hire more professionals to meet the demand.
Sadly, that means most of the students who need help won’t get it unless something changes within the school system. With the coronavirus and its variants still among us, the problem is likely to only increase.
On May 31, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the startling report only serves to highlight the work the school system needs to do to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and to address other related safety issues.
Mental Health and the Future
Cardona said the Education Department is working to keep students in school by insisting they stay open for in-person learning, despite any variant virus conditions. He said it’s the only way to strengthen the schools and provide adequate mental health support for the students. Unfortunately, tragedies like the deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas, make it more difficult for kids and teachers to feel comfortable in their own schools. Not only are mental health services needed to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic, but for school safety issues in general and shootings in particular.
As the government and schools look for answers, one thing is for sure: both need to support the growing need for mental health services in schools. They need to work together to find a workable solution to help students deal with the world’s current state and to prepare schools for any unforeseen events that might arise in the upcoming school year.
Copyright 2022, ReliableNews.org