Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health

Children's hospitals are working together to tackle the behavioral health crisis in the communities they serve.
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The Mental Health Crisis

  • One in five children and adolescents experience a mental health condition in a given year.
  • Compared to 2016, children's hospitals in 2021 saw a 31% increase in mental health inpatient visits for children and teens ages 3-18.
  • Four in 10 teens in 2021 reported feeling sad or hopeless and one in five have contemplated suicide.

Prior to the pandemic, behavioral health concerns in children had reached a crisis level with 1 in 5 children experiencing a mental health condition every year. This growing emergency has created unprecedented patient demand for services.

To confront the issue, children’s hospitals are working to advance solutions through effective legislation, creative partnerships and necessary expansion of the pediatric behavioral health workforce and programs.

While some solutions, like an increase in the workforce, will take time, other solutions can be implemented sooner and help improve the lives of children and families. Children’s Hospital Association members are connecting with each other to pool knowledge and resources and tackle the behavioral health crisis in the communities they serve.

Navigating this crisis is not easy, and it is not children’s hospitals challenge to solve alone. Working alongside primary care providers, schools, other community-based organizations and families will be essential.

As we bring together pediatric leaders across the country and share experiences that help identify challenges and solutions, we can drive national change. Healthy minds create healthy bodies and with improvements in behavioral health care, we’re in turn establishing a healthier, less costly adult population.

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