Mental health of America's teens significantly hurt by school closures, experts confirm

by Laura Mize · Feb 11th, 2021 3:54 pm

Last Updated Feb 14th, 2021 at 10:25 am

The mental health of children, especially teenagers, is taking a hit as school closures drag on in many parts of the country, experts say.

Missing out on social interactions and formal, in-person education is exacting a toll.

Kids' mental health emergencies have increased significantly, according to data from JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. In Clark County, Nevada, the school system reopened in January following a nine-month suicide rate that was double that of the previous 12 months.

The same school district uses a tracking program to monitor for concerning online searches conducted on tablets students borrow from schools. The tool has identified more than 3,100 such searches beginning in March 2020.

Young adults and teenagers are having the toughest time overall, said Shekar Saxena, a mental health professor at Harvard.

"It's the young adults and the children who are being impacted, and the effects are going to be long-lasting," he said.


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