© 2022 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The rise in mental health issues among children is declared a health emergency

Verne Ho

To connect to resources in Connecticut dial 211 for help. 

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (en español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.


The American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national emergency in children’s mental health in October. Data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that in 2020, mental health–related emergency department (ED) visits among adolescents aged 12–17 years increased 31% compared to 2019. During February 21–March 20, 2021, ED visits for suspected suicide were 50.6% higher among girls aged 12–17 years than during the same period in 2019.

But even before the pandemic, suicide was the second leading cause of death for young people in the 10-24 age group by 2018, across the U.S.

In Connecticut, 30 young people aged 10 to 24 died by suicide in 2020, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The crisis is exacerbated by a lack of adequate mental health resources in schools and pediatrician clinics, crowded EDs, and a shortage of beds and workforce at inpatient and outpatient pediatric mental health facilities.

What should the federal and state governments do?


Stay Connected
Sujata Srinivasan is a Senior Producer for 'Where We Live,' the flagship news-based, call-in talk show from Connecticut Public Radio, featuring deep dives at the intersection of data-driven narrative and investigative long-form journalism. She's also an editor for the Connecticut Public newsroom.
Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.