As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to stay distant for nearly a year, the Today Show and NPR have reported how isolation has taken a toll on youth who have been learning from home. Nearly half of schools in the U.S. have held classes via virtual lessons only, and school officials are noticing more students struggling with mental health.
Nationwide, from April to October 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an increase in the percentage of emergency room visits from adolescents for mental health needs. In addition, an increased number of adolescent suicides have been reported over the past year. In Illinois, suicides for youth under age 18 increased year-over-year from January-September 2020.
Rosecrance staff have seen increased trauma-related stressor disorders throughout the pandemic as events were postponed, homecomings were cancelled, and youth weren’t allowed to socialize like they wanted. In response, Rosecrance has encouraged anyone who needs a helping hand to reach out. Virtual assessments and appointments are available for those not comfortable meeting in person, and a wide range of resources for youth and parents are offered through Rosecrance’s virtual hub. Rosecrance also continues to offer residential treatment for youth.
“We know firsthand how youth are struggling to cope with loneliness,” said Rosecrance Clinical Director Jason Relle. “Our team has actively worked to make sure youth have the supports they need to overcome obstacles they face during these times.”