A pandemic within a pandemic: Kids battling mental health crisis during COVID-19

Family, Policies

A pandemic within a pandemic: Kids battling mental health crisis during COVID-19

 It has been called a “pandemic within a pandemic.” The unprecedented mental health issues children continue battling during the age of COVID-19.

It has left desperate parents looking for answers, but that help can be hard to come by. Psychiatric units are overflowing, and the worst may not be over.

Julie Barrett’s daughter started struggling soon after the coronavirus pandemic closed down her school last March. Now, 377 days later, the 14-year-old hit a breaking point. “She was out on the street saying she was gonna kill herself, that she just wanted to die,” said Barrett, who is a mother of four. “She wanted to be left there to die.” The teen, who has a love for music and her friends, went to a regular church meeting that night. All seemed well until Barrett got a call that her daughter was in the midst of a mental breakdown.

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Who is hungry in America? The pandemic has changed the answer.

Poverty, Threats

Who is hungry in America? The pandemic has changed the answer.

Before the pandemic, rates of food insecurity in the United States had been declining during the longest economic expansion in the country’s history. The percentage of households that were food insecure for at least some portion of the year had dropped from 14.9% in 2011 to 10.5% in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

But within those households, that still represented 35.2 million Americans worried about a low-quality diet or even when they would get their next meal.

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