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New Report Details Severity Of The Youth Mental Health Crisis + What We Can Do

While it’s impossible to make sweeping conclusions about an issue as nuanced and complex as mental health, Murthy does share some thoughts in his report about potential underlying causes of the mounting crisis.

“Some believe that the trends in reporting of mental health challenges are partly due to young people becoming more willing to openly discuss mental health concerns,” he writes, which we’ve seen demonstrated when it comes to discussions about trauma. (You can read more about how young people are moving the conversation about trauma forward here.)

“Other researchers point to the growing use of digital media, increasing academic pressure, limited access to mental health care, health risk behaviors such as alcohol and drug use, and broader stressors such as the 2008 financial crisis, rising income inequality, racism, gun violence, and climate change.”

Murthy also discusses how adding pandemic ramifications to that equation–from potentially losing family members to facing social changes–only exacerbated the existing crisis. “They missed first days of school, months or even years of in-person schooling, graduation ceremonies, sports competitions, playdates, and time with relatives. They and their family may have lost access to mental health care, social services, income, food, or housing,” he shares, among other examples of the many ways the pandemic has taken a toll.

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