MILWAUKEE – From school shootings to bullying and continuing to navigate through a pandemic…it’s been a heavy time for some children.
There’s a new campaign aimed at supporting the conversation of mental health as demand for services is growing at an alarming rate.
When it comes to mental health – age doesn’t discriminate.
“When it comes to children’s mental health, we’re seeing pretty alarming trends,” said Dr. Ariana Hoet
She says over the last 10 years we’ve seen increases in sadness, hopelessness, thoughts of suicide and the pandemic exacerbated it all.
SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News
“We saw those patterns increase a lot more quickly,” she said.
At Children’s Wisconsin, between 2019 and 2021, call volumes to the mental and behavioral health access center tripled.
And since 2020, visits to the emergency department trauma center for mental and behavioral health concerns have increased by 40%.
Specialists are urging families to bring awareness to children’s mental health.
“It’s about building that positive relationship that safe space between the adult and the child,” she said.
Adding “on our sleeves” operation: conversation could be the place to turn to.
“Informational resources for any adult with a child in their life that teaches them how to start a conversation and once the child starts talking what do I do with it how do I respond so they keep that conversation going,” said Dr. Hoet.
Connections are vital to help the child feel supported.
“I encourage parents to engage in what their child loves to do,” said Artie Turner, from the Integrated Behavioral Health Department at Children’s Wisconsin.
While overall numbers of poor mental health have increased…genetic and risk factors, family and financial stress, and even trauma can all play a part. this campaign can be one more tool to help fix the issue.
“Hopefully they start learning strategies of how do I respond to stress for life situations,” Dr. Hoet said.
On Our Sleeves
Children’s Wisconsin Mental and Behavioral Health
Children’s Mental Health Urgent Care