Silver Hill Hospital says there's a mental health crisis in our schools
Doctors say we are dealing with a very real mental health crisis in our schools. They say we need to do something before it continues to get worse.
Experts say about one in four kids are struggling with some mental health concerns.
"I'm sure the pandemic and all the changes academically have something to do with worsening mental health outcomes at this point and time," said Dr. Elizabeth Ortiz-Schwartz, chief of the adolescent transitional living program at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan.
Ortiz-Schwartz says kids have significant pressures today but really need to manage their sleep schedule.
"I think kids are sleep deprived for sure and electronics have a lot to do with it. So it's really important to find a balance into what is appropriate use and what is too much," said Ortiz-Schwartz.
To make matters worse, a new report in the Washington Post says we are short 100,000 mental health counselors in America's schools.
"I think we need to do better. Kids do need to have more access to counseling in schools. I think that's going to be important, so awareness is key," said Ortiz-Schwartz.
A recent survey by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America says bullying has increased in our schools over the past five years. Seven out of 10 kids say they start worrying about things and they can't stop, and they don't want anyone else to know about it.
"That is significant and that is in a school setting so you're not counting things like cyber bullying or witnessing bullying which can have a negative effect on kids mental health," said Ortiz-Schwartz.
Dr. Ortiz-Schwartz says it may take kids weeks to get adjusted to a new school year. She suggests they gradually settle in to avoid burnout.
Dr. Ortiz-Schwartz adds it's important to set manageable goals for your kids and to keep communication with them open.