Annual health report shows that children are struggling to find mental help
SALT LAKE CITY — A new report shows how Utah youth is stacking up against the rest of the country regarding mental health wellness.
According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation, which released its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, the data goes back to 2020 through the onset of the pandemic.
For the first time, the report includes compiled data that looked at all 50 states on mental health among youth 3 to 17-years-old.
Voices for Utah Children said the report shows kids in Utah have been hit hard.
Martin Munoz, kids’ camp director, said the report emphasizes how the mental health decline among Utah youth has become like that of a mental health pandemic, and kids need help they can turn to.
While in the Data Book, Utah ranks fourth in the nation in child well-being and first in the family and community domain, other numbers reveal that more than 13 percent of kids ages 3 to 17-years-old experienced anxiety and/or depression in 2020.
A new report shows how Utah teens and kids compare with the rest of the country when it comes to mental health wellness.
Youth are struggling.
Live report on @KSL5TV – next.
— Karah Brackin (@KB_ON_TV) August 8, 2022
The Voices for Utah Children said there are not enough professionals to meet the demand for mental health support. As a result, many people are struggling to get in for appointments.
“One issue could be the access; it is a problem. Utah, we are shorthanded in that professional field. I think that is definitely a solution; somehow open up opportunities for education grants, and scholarships, to encourage individuals to go into the profession,” Munoz said.
He said the Kids Count report shows of the 3 to 17-year-olds in Utah who dealt with depression or anxiety last year, 40 percent were getting treatment. That said, 60 percent were not.
Not a quick fix, Munoz said this is not something that’s going to be fixed with one or two legislative sessions. Instead, investing in kids will take time and money as they are worth it.
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