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Children’s Hospital Colorado seeing twice as many kids struggling with mental health; what parents should look out for

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 7:37 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - If your child is struggling with anxiety, depression or feelings of isolation, they are not alone.

Children’s Hospital Colorado is seeing twice as many kids struggling with mental health, mostly due to the pandemic.

“Life has been so unpredictable for kids and school has changed so many different times that kids are feeling anxious about what may or may not happen and when there are a lot of unknown variables often times that’s going to increase kids stress,” said Dr. Jenna Glover of Children’s.

This is similar to what is being seen across the country, with 78% of youth ages 11-17 reporting loneliness as a top concern for mental health.

“Our younger kids are seeing more of the anxiety and depression, and our older kids are seeing a wider range of those things and that’s when we’re seeing more suicidal thoughts, more of the eating issues as well as the anxiety and the depression,” said Glover.

What parents should be on the look out for:

-If you notice your child is not eating and/or sleeping normally

-If your child starts to withdrawal from friends or family

-If you notice rapid mood changes from your child, such as being irritable for long periods of time or crying often for no apparent reason

What parents can do to help:

-Ask your child how they’re doing, what they may be worried about or if they have any concerns

-Get your kids outside

-Spend time doing the things your child really loves, even if it’s just once or twice a week

For more resources on helping kids cope during the pandemic, click here.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, do not delay. Call 911 or contact the following organizations for immediate support and counseling for yourself or a loved one. (Calls are free, confidential and available 24/7.)

  • Contact the Colorado Crisis Line by calling 1-844-493-8255 or texting “TALK” to 38255.
  • If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
  • If you need help with drugs, alcohol or addiction, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357 (HELP).

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