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ER Visits, Long Waits Climb For Kids In Mental Health Crisis

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Laura Dilts, of Barre, Mass., holds a photograph of her 16-year-old son outside the Worcester Recovery Center, where he is a resident patient receiving assistance for his mental health, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, in Worcester, Mass. The coronavirus pandemic has led to rising emergency room visits and longer waits for U.S. children and teens facing mental health issues. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The pandemic has led to rising emergency room visits and long waits for U.S. children and teens facing mental health crises. These include kids who are suicidal, or facing severe depression and anxiety. With schools closed, routines disrupted and parents anxious over lost income or uncertain futures, kids are shouldering new burdens many are unequipped to bear. ER visits for many health reasons other than COVID-19 have declined during the pandemic. But a recent government study shows the share that were for kids’ mental health-related visits climbed steadily from mid-April through October.

 

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