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"Surgeon General Warns of Emerging Youth Mental Health Crisis"

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Dr. Daniel Eisenberg, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about a report from the U.S. surgeon general on the mental health challenges confronting American youth, including during the pandemic

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Date: 
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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Citing mounting evidence of ongoing harm, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy on Tuesday issued a public health advisory on the mental health challenges confronting youth, a rare warning and call to action to address what he called an emerging crisis exacerbated by pandemic hardships.

Symptoms of depression and anxiety have doubled during the pandemic, with 25% of youth experiencing depressive symptoms and 20% experiencing anxiety symptoms, according to Murthy’s 53-page advisory. There also appear to be increases in negative emotions or behaviors such as impulsivity and irritability — associated with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

And, in early 2021, emergency department visits in the United States for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to the same time period in early 2019, according to research cited in the advisory.

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