Children’s Hospitals Recognize 2nd Anniversary of National Emergency in Children’s Mental Health
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks two years since Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), along with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), declared a national state of emergency in child and adolescent mental health.
“Two years after CHA joined the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in declaring a national emergency in children’s mental health, too many children and teens nationwide are still without the mental health support and treatment they need,” said Matthew Cook, CEO of CHA. “This crisis has only grown since the COVID-19 pandemic and requires increased investment from policymakers. Congress must continue to prioritize children’s mental health and their well-being by passing meaningful legislation like the bipartisan Helping Kids Cope Act and additional investments to ensure children on Medicaid can access needed mental health care.”
According to a Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2021, 42 percent of all high school students surveyed said they had experienced “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” in the past year, including 60 percent of teenage girls and nearly half of Latino and multi-racial youth. Troublingly, 22 percent of youth reported they had seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous year, an increase over the past ten years for Black, white and Hispanic youth.
The Helping Kids Cope Act, introduced by Rep. Lisa Rochester (D-Del.) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), would bolster the pediatric mental health workforce and improve the availability of mental health care for kids.