Service availability for children with pre-existing mental health challenges deteriorates during pandemic

An article from Kaiser Health News highlights the extensive gaps in support services for children with pre-existing mental health conditions since the pandemic has begun. Families are experiencing major deteriorations in their children’s wellbeing, particularly when routine is an important health and behavioral management tool or when in-person therapy and educational supports are essential. Referencing the CDC’s fall 2020 announcement that children’s mental health-related emergency room visits have increased 25-30 percent, stakeholders see that increased needs and decreased supports leave families with few options. These new pressures on pediatric mental health care systems only exacerbate the pre-pandemic dearth of specialized care. Advocates suggest an increased and coordinated investment in care systems at all levels of government but recognize the low likelihood of new investments in the context of pandemic-era budget shortfalls. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

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