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KIDS COUNT finds American children are in a mental health crisis (


To read the Philanthropy News Digest article and download the 50-page report, please click here.

More than seven million children in the United States are struggling with anxiety, depression, and related mental health challenges in what amounts to a mental health crisis across race, ethnicity, economics, and sexual identity, a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds.

The KIDS COUNT Data Book: 2022 (50 pages, PDF)—the foundation’s annual assessment of the well-being of children through national and state economic, education, health, and family and community data—finds a 25.5 percent increase in children exhibiting mental health issues such as anxiety and depression between 2016 and 2020 with Hispanic/Latinx children seeing a 44 percentage increase from 8.1 percent to 11.7 percent. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and current economic stresses straining an already weak mental health system, the report raises an alarm as newer data shows worsening trends.

An “alarmingly high” number of high school age children are reported to have attempted suicide in the past year. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report indicates that overall, 9 percent of high schoolers attempted suicide, while the percentage was even higher among Black students (12 percent), among those identifying as two or more races (13 percent), and among American Indian or Native Alaskan high school students (26 percent).

LGBTQ young people are encountering significant mental health challenges with 23 percent reported to have attempted suicide, compared to 6 percent for heterosexual high school students. The report—which includes data from the Trevor Project—highlighted the obstacles LGBTQ young people have in accessing mental health care including fear of discussing concerns (48 percent), concerns with obtaining permission to access care (45 percent), fear of not being taken seriously (43 percent), lack of affordability (41 percent), fear of identity being misunderstood (26 percent), and lack of transportation (21 percent).

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