Experts report rise in mental health issues in children, teens

October is Depression and Mental Health Awareness month. Mental Illness Awareness week coincides with other events through the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

  • Thursday Oct. 7: National Depression Screening Day
  • Saturday Oct. 9: NAMIWalks United Day of Hope
  • Sunday Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day

Counseling and Recovery Services of Oklahoma says they’ve seen an uptick in kids experiencing mental health problems, especially during the pandemic.

One contributing factor that, the amount of time spent online.

“While some of those things can be positive for kids, points of connection, we’ve just also seen a lot of bullying going on,” said Sarah Phillip, Outpatient Specialty Services Program Manager.

A report from the Saint Francis Health Systems says there was an 84% increase in mental health cases in kids since 2019. By late February of 2021, a CDC analysis found suicide related visits were up 51% in girls aged 12 to 17.

Phillips says never hesitate to ask for help.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you don’t have to go through this alone. Also, we’ve got to quit comparing ourselves others. We see it everywhere people looking like they’re having a fantastic time and COVID doesn’t exist but it’s just not realistic.”

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