American Psychiatric Association Joins “Sound the Alarm for Kids” to Address the Mental Health Emergency in Children and Teens

Today the American Psychiatric Association joined “Sound the Alarm for Kids” as a national partner committed to helping raise awareness about the mental health emergency affecting children and adolescents.

“In this pandemic, children and adolescents are faced with many factors detrimental to their mental health. For most, this has meant the isolation of not being in school every day with their peers, and for some, this has meant the loss of family members,” said APA President Vivian Pender, M.D. “With the mental health system already stretched thin, we are joining this important effort to call attention to the national emergency around children’s mental health and urging policymakers to act.”

Nationally:

  • Before the pandemic, 1 in 5 children – anyone under age 18 – experienced a mental health disorder on an annual basis.
  • From 2007 to 2018, there was a 60% increase in the rate of suicide among 10- to 24-year-olds, making it the second leading cause of death for this age group.
  • More than half of adults (53%) with children in their household say they are concerned about the mental state of their children.

“APA and its member psychiatrists together with the larger child mental health community, are sounding the alarm for our kids’ mental health,” added Gabrielle Shapiro, M.D., chair of APA’s Council on Children, Adolescents and Their Families. “We’re in a moment of emergency for the nation’s children, and we call on policymakers at all levels of the government to ensure that screening and treatment are widely available.”

More of APA’s resources for patients and families, including more information on common mental health disorders, are available here.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,400 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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econnors@psych.org

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