Youth Mental Health

July 1, 2022 • Volume 32, Issue 23
Can the crisis be eased?
By Barbara Mantel


The country is experiencing a mental health crisis among children and adolescents. The isolation and school closures of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an already troubling long-term trend of rising mental health problems among young people, with Black youth and those living in poverty faring worse than others. The underlying causes of the longer-term deterioration in youth mental health are not well understood, although some experts blame the simultaneous rise in the use of social media. A shortage of mental health providers is also a factor. Primary care physicians are having to fill the gap, although many report feeling ill-equipped to do so. Meanwhile, experts worry that kids are being prescribed drugs without the psychotherapies that research shows are needed to address anxiety and depression. The mass shooting by a teenage gunman at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in May spurred Congress to pass — and President Biden to sign — gun control legislation that includes spending for mental health.

Photo of school counselor with student in Denver, Colorado, on November 6, 2014. (Getty Images/The Denver Post/Andy Cross)
Erin Howard, a school counselor in Denver, talks with a student in 2014. Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed schools for months and left many students feeling isolated, has exacerbated an ongoing mental health crisis among children and teens. The crisis is compounded by a shortage of mental health providers and disparate insurance coverage for mental health services. (Getty Images/The Denver Post/Andy Cross)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mental Health
Jul. 01, 2022  Youth Mental Health
Jul. 31, 2020  COVID-19 and Mental Health
Oct. 11, 2019  The Insanity Defense
Jul. 12, 2019  Suicide Crisis
Mar. 13, 2015  Prisoners and Mental Illness
Dec. 05, 2014  Treating Schizophrenia
Sep. 12, 2014  Teen Suicide
May 10, 2013  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 03, 2012  Treating ADHD
Jun. 01, 2012  Traumatic Brain Injury
Jun. 26, 2009  Treating Depression
Feb. 13, 2004  Youth Suicide
Feb. 06, 2004  Mental Illness Medication Debate
Mar. 29, 2002  Mental Health Insurance
Feb. 08, 2002  Treating Anxiety
Jul. 16, 1999  Childhood Depression
Jun. 18, 1999  Boys' Emotional Needs
Sep. 12, 1997  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 19, 1994  Prozac
Aug. 06, 1993  Mental Illness
Oct. 09, 1992  Depression
Jun. 14, 1991  Teenage Suicide
Jul. 08, 1988  Biology Invades Psychology
Feb. 13, 1987  The Mentally Ill
Aug. 20, 1982  Mental Health Care Reappraisal
Jun. 12, 1981  Youth Suicide
Sep. 21, 1979  Mental Health Care
Sep. 15, 1978  Brain Research
Jul. 05, 1974  Psychomedicine
Aug. 08, 1973  Emotionally Disturbed Children
Dec. 27, 1972  Mental Depression
Mar. 24, 1972  Schizophrenia: Medical Enigma
Apr. 21, 1971  Approaches to Death
Mar. 03, 1971  Encounter Groups
Nov. 25, 1970  Psychological Counseling of Students
Feb. 19, 1969  Future of Psychiatry
Feb. 02, 1966  New Approaches to Mental Illness
Jan. 22, 1964  Insanity as a Defense
Sep. 25, 1963  Anatomy of Suicide
Nov. 20, 1957  Drugs and Mental Health
Apr. 23, 1954  Mental Health Programs
Jul. 09, 1948  Mental Health
Congress Actions
Crime and Law Enforcement
Diversity Issues
Early Childhood Education
Education Policy
Elementary and Secondary Education
Federal Courts
Internet and Social Media
Mental Health
Online Education
Party Politics
Party Politics
Powers and History of the Presidency
Research in Education
Students and Social Life