Global Rise In Childhood Mental Health Issues Amid Pandemic

A child and his mother wait at the reception in the pediatric unit of the Robert Debre hospital, in Paris, France, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

(AP) — Doctors say the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of children is alarming and plain to see. France’s busiest pediatric hospital has seen a doubling in the number of children and young teenagers requiring treatment after attempted suicides.

Doctors elsewhere report similar surges, with children — some as young as 8 — deliberately running into traffic, overdosing on pills and otherwise self-harming.

In Japan, child and adolescent suicides hit record levels in 2020. Pediatric psychiatrists say they’re also seeing children with coronavirus-related phobias, tics and eating disorders. Some are obsessing about infection, scrubbing their hands raw and covering their bodies with disinfectant gel. One doctor says “the crisis affects all of us, from age 2 to 99.”


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