San Francisco, CA

Child mental health issues soar during the pandemic

Geoffrey Greer

Health is the new wealth.

Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

With Prince Harry joining a mental health startup in San Francisco, all signs point to a tidal wave of interest in the mental health of students, teachers, and people during the Covid crisis.

It's been a year since the stay-at-home order that pitched San Francisco students into academic and social isolation. Because of the diminished social interaction, countless students have endured similar mental health struggles. Families have watched as their once motivated children have become anxious or depressed.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland has seen child emergency mental health visits almost double during the pandemic.

Even before Covid, the mental health crisis among children was escalating at an alarming rate. The number of new cases has tripled in the past decade, and it's increasingly difficult for therapy centers to keep up with demand as they fill their waiting lists weeks-long in advance.

The research shows that a combination of family conflict, poverty stressors like hunger or homelessness are largely responsible for this growing trend among our youth. But there have been some events such as natural disasters which could also lead to increases in mental health issues if not addressed early on.

The Covid crisis has exacerbated these longstanding trends. Schools in San Francisco are starting to resume classes and it’s unclear if they will be able to address the mental health needs of children who have been “schooling from home.”

But no matter what causes these spikes in need, we must put forth efforts now so that future generations can grow successfully without fear of debilitating anxiety disorders or depression.

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