U.S. surgeon general warns of youth mental health crisis because of the pandemic

In a rare public advisory Tuesday, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy brought to light some of the mental health struggles youth are facing in growing numbers.

The 53-page advisory highlights recent research showing that symptoms of depression and anxiety have doubled during the pandemic, according to the Los Angeles Times. It’s estimated that a quarter of America’s youth experience depression symptoms and 20% experience anxiety systems. Additionally, research shows increases in impulsivity, irritability and other negative emotions, as well as an increase in emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts.

Excerpt from the report’s introduction

Murthy’s advisory calls for quick action across 11 sectors, including government, social media companies, schools and even in families. Some of the recommendations include recognizing that mental health is an essential part of overall health, empowering youth and their families to recognize, manage and learn from difficult emotions, and ensuring every child has access to high-quality, affordable, and culturally competent mental health care.

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