Disclaimer: Moving Health Care Upstream is a collaborative effort originally co-led by Nemours Children’s Health and the Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities at the University of California- Los Angeles (UCLA). The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Nemours, UCLA or the Moving Health Care Upstream initiative.
- Kara Odom Walker, MD, MPH, MSHS; Executive Vice President, Chief Population Health Officer; Nemours Children’s Health
- Laura Hogan, MPA, Consultant, Laura Hogan Consulting
- Daniella Gratale, MA; Associate Vice President, Federal Affairs; Nemours Children’s Health
Thank you to Hannah Wagner, MPP, Senior Advisor, Policy Development and Partnership, Nemours Children’s Health, for editing this blog post.
“[The] challenges today’s generation of young people face are unprecedented and uniquely hard to navigate. And the effect these challenges have had on their mental health is devastating […] If we seize this moment, step up for our children and their families in their moment of need, and lead with inclusion, kindness, and respect, we can lay the foundation for a healthier, more resilient, and more fulfilled nation.”
– Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, US Surgeon General, Protecting Youth Mental Health Advisory: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory, 2021
America’s children and youth report staggering rates of sadness, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. This can result in high risk for suicide, depression, substance use disorder, poor academic performance, and other severe consequences. Nearly 60% of female high school students and about 30% of male students surveyed reported experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness for two weeks or more in the past year. Moreover, a 2023 survey showed that 86% of children report that they worry, and 36% report being sad or miserable when they worry. While substance use among young people decreased over recent years, the spread of fentanyl has led to a tragic epidemic of overdose deaths. And, younger children are showing signs of acute distress with suicide now reported as the second most common cause of death for children ages 10 to 14. [Read more…]