Last Updated: May 19, 2023By Tags: , , ,

A new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that emergency room visits for young people experiencing mental distress have nearly doubled in the last decade.

The study, which covered the period between 2011 and 2020, found that emergency department visits among children, adolescents, and young adults for mental health reasons approximately doubled and included a five-fold increase in visits for suicide-related symptoms.

Adolescents experienced the greatest increase in mental health-related emergency room visits. Experts found that this was consistent across sex, race, and ethnicity.

Key finding: Suicide-related visits increased from 0.9% to 4.2% of all pediatric visits. While the percentages may seem small, the numbers are significant.

Experts warn that heavy social media use among children and adolescents could be one factor behind the rise in mental health issues. Studies have shown that excessive social media use can increase anxiety, depression, and social isolation among young people.

Although it is just one factor, it makes a big difference. To help your child’s mental wellbeing, be an involved parent, monitor your child’s social media use, and get them outdoors. Encourage them to participate in sports or other activities. These are just a few ways to boost our youth’s mental wellness.