Doctors seeing cases spike in children with depression and anxiety

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 3:47 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Since the pandemic began, mental health doctors and therapists are seeing more clients. Lately, more of them are children, struggling with depression and anxiety.

CHI Health says they’ve seen behavioral health appointments for people under 18 years old rise nearly 25 percent. Calls to the crisis line are up 70 percent. Therapists say this doesn’t surprise them because they’re seeing those patients every day.

One local psychiatrist says most of the kids have depression and anxiety for a number of reasons. Whether it’s isolation from friends, disruption in routine, or cyberbullying and screen time.

“You need to talk to your kids,” said Dr. Zachary Keller, a CHI Health psychiatrist. “Ask them how are things going, how is school, how are your friend groups. You should know the answers to those questions, if you don’t it will be difficult to pick up on anything.”

Warning signs your child may be struggling are:

  • changes in behavior
  • Maybe your child doesn’t want to hang out with friends or family
  • sleeping more
  • not eating or showering

They say if you start noticing these changes, it can help to consult your child’s doctor or a licensed therapist.

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