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Since the onset of the pandemic, Children’s hospitals throughout the country have seen a “meteoric” rise in the number of children who need mental health help.
To make matters worse, hospitals that struggled to meet the demand for mental health services before the pandemic are now dealing with even fewer resources — like hospital beds, providers, therapists and counseling — thanks to COVID.
Mental health among young people deteriorated during the pandemic when cabin fever increased family conflicts and closed schools left children isolated from activities and their peers.
According to The Washington Post, from June of last year to late spring 2021, an average of five children each week were admitted to the medical school’s teaching hospital at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, for overdoses of acetaminophen, opiates, antidepressants and Ritalin.
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Normally, the hospital sees only five kids a month. In May, Children’s Hospital in Colorado declared a “state of emergency” as kids being treated for anxiety doubled, depression numbers tripled and substance abuse and eating disorders increased compared to pre-pandemic levels.
“We really have never seen anything like this rapid growth in kids presenting with mental health problems and the severity of those problems,” said Jenna Glover, director of psychology training at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “I’ve never seen this in my entire career.”
Other hospitals saw even bigger increases. In January, Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, saw a 300% increase in the number of behavioral health emergency admissions since April 2020. In January through April 2021, behavioral health emergency department visits were up 72% over the same time period two years ago, the hospital said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts during February and March of 2021 were more than 50% higher for teen girls compared to 2019, and more than 4% higher for boys.
“In the last year, there’s been an avalanche of very severely depressed and anxious children and adolescents,” said San Francisco child psychiatrist Michelle Guchereau. It’s “heartbreaking” and “overwhelming” to have to turn some away, she said.
In March of this year, Seattle Children’s Hospital reported seeing one or two patients every night for attempted suicide. The hospital boarded kids in the emergency department because there were no pediatric psychiatric beds available.
A Massachusetts state report showed 39% of pediatric patients who came to the ER for mental health issues in 2020 took up beds in the emergency department due to unavailability of pediatric beds.
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During the pandemic, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago reached what Dr. Jennifer Hoffmann, an emergency medicine physician, called a “crisis point.” There were so many mental health-related emergency room visits it activated a response usually reserved for disaster management.
“It allows for coordination at the highest level of leadership in order to address the mental health crisis among children,” said Hoffmann.
Hoffmann’s hospital also had to board kids in the emergency department or admit them to medical beds, where they sometimes waited for days until a psychiatric inpatient bed opened up.
What’s known as emergency room boarding of psych patients has risen between 200% + 400% monthly in MA during the pandemic. CDC says emergency room visits after suicide attempts among teen girls were up 51% earlier this year as compared w/ 2019 #TheDefenderhttps://t.co/esbwnpCAZ3
— Children's Health Defense (@ChildrensHD) June 30, 2021
Colleague Dr. John Walkup, chair of the Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the hospital, said the pandemic exacerbated access problems that have been around for a while.
“We’ve never had an adequate mental health system in the United States for kids — never — and so you take an inadequate system to begin with, and then all of a sudden, you put kids who are at elevated risk … in a very difficult living and life situation. And you now have a crisis of access,” Walkup said.
Many of the kids Walkup’s hospital treated in the ER had a mental health problem that was never diagnosed, or was inadequately treated before the pandemic. Now, when they seek help, they can’t get a regular appointment with a therapist. Even before the pandemic, studies showed it can sometimes take months to get a first appointment.
“Those kids, when you take away school, family support, income support, food support, housing support or they lose a relative — those kids really become symptomatic in a big way,” Walkup said.
Zach Zaslow, senior director of government affairs at Children’s Hospital Colorado said his hospital ends up boarding kids in the emergency department or inpatient unit, not because it’s what’s best for the children, but because “there’s literally nowhere else for them to go.”
“Sometimes they get transferred to out-of-state residential facilities to get the care they need, which splits up families,” Zaslow said. “And that can be traumatizing for kids as well.”
UK experiencing similar crisis
The UK is experiencing a similar pediatric mental health crisis, with a third of acute hospital beds in parts of England now occupied by vulnerable children who do not need acute medical care but have nowhere else to go, safeguarding experts warned.
Doctors say they feel like expensive “babysitters” for vulnerable children — many of whom are in care but whose placements have broken down because of their violent and self-harming behavior.
Others have severe neurodevelopmental or eating disorders and need specialist treatment not available on ordinary children’s wards, where they get “stuck,” sometimes for months at a time.
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Police are increasingly called to help restrain the children, or to bring them back when they run away, and pediatricians deal with vulnerable children who were not physically ill but displayed such challenging behavior they could not be looked after in other placements.
More than two-thirds of U.S. counties don’t have psychiatrist
According to The Washington Post, the problem and its effects are complex.
An article in the Academic Pediatrics Journal examined barriers to management of psychosocial problems from 2004 to 2013, and found even before the pandemic, pediatricians were overwhelmed with caring for children with mental health problems.
Psychologists have reported a 30% increase in demand for services for children under 13, and a 16% increase for adolescents. At one hospital in Michigan, admissions of adolescents with eating disorders more than doubled during the pandemic.
As of Sept. 9, more than 124 million Americans live in mental health “professional shortage areas,” according to federal data, and the country needs at least 6,500 more practitioners to fill the gaps.
Currently, there are on average only 9.75 U.S. child psychiatrists per 100,000 children under age 19. Poor access to child and adolescent psychiatrists has long been a concern raised by pediatricians and families. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry said we need more than four times as many as are available.
Wait times for new appointments can be many months, and families may be required to pay out-of-pocket or travel long distances as psychiatrists congregate in big cities. More than two-thirds of U.S. counties don’t have a psychiatrist at all.
According to The Guardian, facilities that provide mental health services for children have been systematically undermined and underfunded by successive local and national governments — even though successful outcomes lead to a reduced demand for adult services, which could save the UK’s National Health Service considerable expenditures.
Those with power to overhaul and expand the mental health system are simply not doing it.
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Plandemic, Voter Fraud, Afghanistan: All Parts of The Great Reset
If you still consider “conspiracy theorist” to be a pejorative, you’re not paying enough attention.
What do Covid-19, 2020 (and beyond) election fraud, and our disastrous abandoning of American citizens in Afghanistan have to do with one another? They’re all parts of the globalist plan to usher in a new era of Neo-Marxism in a depopulated world. This is The Great Reset unfolding before our eyes, and the only way we can stop it (other than through constant prayer) is to stand together and spread the truth.
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Covid-19’s attachment to The Great Reset is obvious, though we continue to post about it daily. Voter fraud is a bit less obvious but nonetheless easy to recognize when we understand that people like Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau, and Emmanuel Macron are pushing to “Build Back Better” under the precepts of Neo-Marxism.
The Afghanistan betrayal in August, 2021, is harder to associate with The Great Reset, but it’s definitely just as attached. We can see this is the unwillingness of the Biden regime to extend the deadline to withdraw despite American lives put clearly in harm’s way. We can see it in the needlessly abandoned military equipment that was conspicuously left intact; disabling a Black Hawk takes minutes but they were given to the Taliban in pristine working condition. Then, there’s the pallets of hundred dollar bills left for them. If you think all of this was just irresponsible governance, you probably think Barack Obama is out of politics, too.
Weakening America’s standing in the world and empowering the Chinese Communist Party and others to engage fully with our enemies in a globalist cabal are beneficial to the architects of The Great Reset, and both happened in one fell swoop in August.
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Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
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