Emergency rooms in the United States are being flooded with children who are having a mental health crisis. Minority children are being hit the hardest by mental health crisis. Health experts do not know why more children are being diagnosed with mental health problems.
Dr. Anne Abrahams is a researcher and pediatrician at the Children’s National Medical Cent, which is located in Washington D.C. She stated that it is disheartening to see so many children having mental health problems. She also stated that it is shocking to see these numbers.
Dr. Abrahams has also examined data from previous years. She obtained data from children’s mental health clinics from 2012 to 2016. She found that there was a 55 percent increase in mental health problems during this time period.
Dr. Abrahams found that there were differences among ethnic groups. White children had a 48 percent increase in mental health problems during a four-year time period. There was a 64 percent increase in black children and 77 percent increase in Hispanic children.
In 2012, 50.5 out of 100,000 emergency room visits in children were due to mental health problems. That number increased to 78.5 to 100,000 in 2016. They also found that mental health emergency room visits doubled in black and Hispanic children.
Even though the exact causes of mental health problems in children are not understood, they do have a few theories. They believe that genetics and environmental factors play a role in mental health problems. They also believe that too much screen time can cause mental health problems in children. Many children today are spending four or more hours per day in front of a smart phone, computer or television.
Additionally, it can be difficult to treat mental health problems in children. It typically includes a combination of therapy and medication.