HOUSTON - The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, and that includes mentally, which is why U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy felt the need to issue a public health advisory on mental health challenges confronting youth.
He released a 53-page advisory on Tuesday. Key points include the symptoms of depression and anxiety have doubled during the pandemic.
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Suicide attempts are 51% higher for girls. The advisory calls for a rapid response from government, social media companies, community groups, teachers, and even students.
We spoke with local mental health experts about their thoughts on this advisory, who all say there is a huge rise in kids and parents seeking help.
"We saw an influx of high school students. College kids coming home from campus wondering what’s happening. Are we going to graduate, what is school going to be like? You got a spike, like the article said, with a lot of anxiety, depression with some adjustment disorders," said Stephanie Davis, a licensed professional youth counselor.
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"One of the points I liked best that the surgeon general made was that most kids are going to be resilient. Most children are going to go through these stressful times and go on to live very busy, productive, happy lives despite the challenges, but we do need to be on the lookout for those who are suffering more. The biggest things we are going to need to look for are a change," said Dr. Karin Price, who is the Chief of Psychology at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Changes to look out for include:
-interaction with peers & family members