During the initial onset of the coronavirus pandemic, pediatric hospital visits dropped 42%, but in the months following, mental health visits by school-aged children jumped, according to new CDC data.
According to data released by the CDC, the proportion of mental health–related visits for children aged 5–11 and 12–17 years increased approximately 24%. and 31%, respectively since March.
“These findings provide initial insight into children’s mental health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight the importance of continued monitoring of children’s mental health throughout the pandemic, ensuring access to care during public health crises, and improving healthy coping strategies and resiliency among children and families,” the CDC said.
The CDC said that many children receive mental health services through schools and community services. Many of these services were forced to close during the height of the pandemic.
“The increase in the proportion of ED visits for children’s mental health concerns might reflect increased pandemic-related stress and unintended consequences of mitigation measures, which reduced or modified access to children’s mental health services, and could result in increased reliance on ED services for both routine and crisis treatment,” the CDC said.