Here @ Home looks at statistics of mental health and kids

A look at why youth mental health is particularly important this year
Updated: May. 17, 2023 at 3:00 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - While the pandemic has brought about some positive changes, such as increased openness in discussing mental health concerns, statistics reveal a troubling reality. Our kids are not alright, and it is imperative that we as a community address this issue head-on.

Sarah Harig, LPC from Family Service of Roanoke Valley joins us on Here @ Home to tell us about a recent survey that was conducted in August 2021 by the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics in partnership with DBHDS. Harig says the results were alarming.

A staggering 90% of primary care providers reported an increase in mental and behavioral health issues in children since June 2020. Yet, 62% of these providers revealed their inability to meet this growing need, with the majority anticipating further increases.

Virginia ranks 39th lowest in the country for the number of mental health care professionals per population, leaving a significant gap in accessible support. Additionally, the state ranks 48th lowest when it comes to the prevalence of mental illness in our youth compared to access to care.

These numbers paint a clear picture of a system in dire need of improvement. This issue extends beyond mere statistics; it directly affects the well-being and future of our valley’s youth.

Listen in to our conversation and if you realize your child is struggling, the options for treatment and the resources in the community for prevention.