Public health officials are sounding the alarm about an increase in mental health issues among young people, saying the pandemic aggravated what was already a crisis.
On Monday, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy spoke to a group of Nequa Valley High School students at an event with U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Illinois). Murthy told students he struggled with mental health growing up and that he was too ashamed to speak to his family or teachers about it.
Mashana Smith, a psychologist at Lurie Children’s Center for Childhood Resilience, says several factors during the pandemic impacted youth. They include a lack of social interaction and the economic impact their parents experienced during the lockdown.
Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Center for Childhood Resilience has teamed up with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education to expand the Resilience Education to Advance Community Healing (REACH) initiative. The program will help schools learn how to help students cope with trauma and other mental health issues.