Children’s Hospital Colorado declares children’s mental health in a ‘state of emergency’ after reaching crisis levels

Children's Hospital Colorado - Colorado Springs campus
Children's Hospital Colorado - Colorado Springs campus(Scott Dressel-Martin | Children's Hospital Colorado)
Published: May. 27, 2021 at 5:27 AM MDT|Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 6:21 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Children’s Hospital Colorado has declared children’s mental health in a “state of emergency” after challenges facing kids have reached crisis level.

According to Children’s, Colorado is among the worst states in the country (48th) in addressing pediatric mental health. So far in 2021, half the kids in the pediatric emergency department waiting rooms were experiencing a mental health crisis.

Children’s Colorado is seeing twice as many patients reporting increased anxiety, depression, feelings of isolation and more. Suicide is also the number one cause of death in Colorado for kids and young adults starting at age 10.

To address this growing issue, Children’s Hospital Colorado top leaders are bringing awareness to what they’re seeing and why Colorado must recognize and treat this crisis with the level of alarm and support it warrants.

In January to April of 2021 across Children’s hospital systems in Colorado, behavioral health emergency department visits are up 72% over the same time period in 2019. In Colorado Springs specifically, Children’s saw a 145% increase as compared to the first four months in 2020.

Children’s emergency transport team is now seeing three to four suicide attempts per week. 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).

For more information and resources from Children’s, click here.

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