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Children’s Hospital Colorado declares ‘state of emergency’ in child mental health crisis

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Children's Hospital Colorado system is sounding the alarm in the state's child mental health crisis.

"For the first time in our 117 year history, I am declaring a pediatric mental health state of emergency," CEO Jena Hausmann said.

Half of the children in the emergency room this year are experiencing a mental health crisis when they are admitted, according to data the hospital system shared with KRDO. The hospital system said it is currently responding to as many as four child suicide attempts a week. Suicide is the leading cause of death in Colorado children 10 and older.

Healthcare leaders say there aren't enough beds or resources to keep up with the increasing demand.

"At a time when we are seeing volumes increase, severity increase and overall need, the system that is meant to be in place to serve these kids, does not only not exist, but those that are attempting to do this work are currently underwater," Heidi Baskfield said.

The Children's Hospital of Colorado said 47 facilities that previously provided mental healthcare to kids in Colorado have shut down in the last few years. Now the major hospital system is calling on those in power to help.

"Children's Hospital would ask that the governor and his team use the powers of the public health order and the executive order to empower critical partners to come together and work on immediate fixes to the crisis that we are seeing," Baskfield said.

Colorado currently ranks 42nd in the nation for youth mental health services, according to Mental Health America. According to the Children's Hospital of Colorado, the state is within the top 10 states in the U.S. for death by suicide.

For more information on pediatric mental health provided by the Children's Hospital, click here.

For other resources, visit the Colorado Crisis Service website or call 1-844-493-8255.

For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-8255.

Health / Health / Healthy Families / Lifestyle / Local News / State & Regional News

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Comments

9 Comments

  1. Perhaps the lockdowns, social isolation and constant 24×7 doom and gloom media has something do with this. Time to reopen things, get these kids back to school, back to a real social life…

    1. “Perhaps?”
      .
      More than ‘perhaps.’ I think you hit the nail on the head.

  2. True, the media is telling kids that you are we either a victim and you’re life sucks, or you are the cause of all all the problems and you need to apologize. What a shame.

  3. …To be a fly on the wall to see what issues are fueling this trend. Is it self-loathing and guilt wrought of the “White privilege” lie? Fear of violent rioting? Incessant fear-mongering about Covid? Perpetually masked faces? Cancelled activities? Lack of physical contact? Not being able to see friends and family? The consequences of draconian measures and the insanity of 2020 and 2021 are bearing out as children continue to be sacrificed on the alter of fear, power and greed. One day we’ll look back on this as crimes against humanity.

    1. But, but, but… we MUST have fear. Instilling fear in the peasants is the only way to get them to be willing to sacrifice their rights in order for the fear to go away, except that we will never actually let the fear go away. The peasants are much easier to control that way.

  4. After the lock down and having the kids home school it was very apparent how bad kids need to be socialize. Many kids have turned to social media for that void in their life and it is a very brutal place. Comparing themselves with the lies others portray as their great or perfect lives. Kids need to be in school. Last I had seen many areas who were on e-learning the whole year 60% of those kids were failing in at least 1 subject.

  5. Did Viral Thoughts equate home school with lack of socialization? Is attending a government institution all day, five days a week with same-age peers a normal social setting? Socialization happens in the interactions and interpersonal relationships formed with people of all ages and demographics throughout daily life. Yes, that can happen in public school, but it’s not the ONLY place it should happen. Normal, social dynamics were practically BANNED during the lock-downs. If government-run institutions, TV, video games and “social” media have become surrogates for true socialization, we should not wonder at the increase in mental breakdowns. The families that didn’t give in to fear-mongering, who kept gathering and socializing, are not admitting their children to the mental wards.

  6. To clarify… That’s not to say children admitted for mental care have not been “socializing.” A year of fear-mongering, riots, racial division, and the barrage of doomsday predictions are enough to give anyone an anxiety disorder. I pray for the families dealing with the mental health carnage.

  7. Bunch of BS. When I was growing up and started to act up I was told to go out and find some work to do. That way I would not have time for stupid thoughts. It worked then and it will work now. Take all their gadgets away from them and put them to work doing something physical. By the end of the day they will be to tired to worry about anything other than going to bed.

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