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Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Crisis as Teen Suicides Increase at Alarming Rates Across the United States

·4 min read

Non-Profit Organization A Brighter Day Aims to Help Parents and Families Deal With Depression and Anxiety

LAFAYETTE, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 1, 2022 / The U.S. is losing 20 teens a day to suicide. That's an entire classroom of kids every day. And in a recent survey by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 4 in 10 high school students reported feeling "persistently sad or hopeless," while 1 in 5 said they'd thought about suicide.

According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death for children and young adults between the ages of 10-24. For youths ages 10-14, suicide is the second leading cause of death. The CDC also tracked emergency room visits during the pandemic and discovered that between February and March 2021, suspected suicide attempts were 50 percent higher among girls ages 12 to 17 than during the same period in 2019.

In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics along with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children's Hospital Association declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health. They called for increased funding for mental health resources and other immediate actions including an integration of mental health care in schools as well as more community-based systems to connect people to more providers and programs.

Elliott Kallen, CEO of A Brighter Day, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping teens transition to adulthood and preventing teen suicide. For six years, Kallen and his organization have provided stress and depression resources for thousands of teenagers and parents a year. For Kallen, he knows firsthand the trauma parents go through when a tragedy like suicide occurs.

A Brighter Day, Monday, August 1, 2022, Press release picture
CEO Elliot Kallen and his family

"My 19-year-old son, Jake, took his life when he was a sophomore in college," Kallen says. "No drugs were involved, just depression that he kept to himself. Neither his family nor his friends suspected that his world was turning dark."

And it is this darkness that has consumed families for some time. Even before the pandemic, anxiety and depression among children and teenagers was a public health problem. From 2013 to 2019, 1 in 5 teenagers in the U.S. had experienced episodes of major depression at some point, according to the CDC. Suicide rates among people ages 10 to 24 increased by 57 percent from 2007 to 2018.

As Kallen started to learn more about depression, he realized there were probably more parents who were in a similar situation and he wanted to help. The main question he hears repeatedly from parents is, "What can I do to help my child, especially if there are no obvious signs of depression?"

A Brighter Day, Monday, August 1, 2022, Press release picture
Elliot with his son, Jake Kallen

Kallen states that teen therapy is essential for mental health and the key to preventing suicide, but admits it can be a tough sell for teens who are already reluctant to talk to their parents. So, the suggestion of talking to a professional may be met with even less enthusiasm. One of the goals, Kallen says, is to create a supportive and caring environment for your child as much as possible, along with other helpful tips.

He adds: "With teen suicide at epidemic levels, we, as parents, must peel away the layers of moodiness and irritability to find out whether our teens are experiencing one-time issues or if something chronic is developing. We can't be wrong in paying more attention because we could be on the horrible end of a phone call."

ABOUT A BRIGHTER DAY

In memory of Jake Kallen, A Brighter Day is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides stress and depression resources for thousands of teenagers a year. From the interactive Teen Talent Showcase, social media pages, monthly newsletter, and Mental Wellness blog, A Brighter Day's mental health resources are designed to reach teens and young adults through several formats in both digital and live channels. To learn more about the organization visit https://abrighterday.org or follow on Facebook or LinkedIn.

CONTACT

Elliot Kallen
https://abrighterday.org
elliot@abrighterday.org
(510) 206-1103

SOURCE: A Brighter Day



View source version on accesswire.com:
https://www.accesswire.com/710458/Child-and-Adolescent-Mental-Health-in-Crisis-as-Teen-Suicides-Increase-at-Alarming-Rates-Across-the-United-States