Children's health specialists call on Biden to prioritize kids in COVID-19 response, citing mental health crisis

American Academy of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Association declared mental health crisis among children, teens
There's currently a mental health crisis among children and teenagers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

The two organizations are calling on the federal government, including President Joe Biden, to prioritize the topic in proposals addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They report suicide attempts are up 20%, and disruptive behavior disorders skyrocketed this summer.

Amy Knight, president of the Children's Hospital Association, joined ABC 7 Chicago Thursday to talk about the issue.

The health organizations point out that Congress should provide new funding to support a range of additional activities at the state and local level to support children, including telehealth, training for crisis response, primary and emergency mental and behavioral health care, school-based services, outpatient programs and partial hospitalizations.

Beyond the awareness campaign, CHA and the AAP are working together and with other child health-focused organizations on longer term solutions to better integrate pediatric mental and behavioral health into the health care delivery system.
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