Teen suicide, anxiety, and depression on the rise

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Along with coronavirus cases, San Francisco mental health professionals say teen suicide, anxiety and depression are also on the rise.

“Kids have hit a wall,” said Christine Garcia, a San Francisco psychologist who says on Halloween night eight teenagers ended up in a San Francisco emergency room after attempted suicides. “Typical is usually one or two at most, and eight is an insane number.”

Garcia is the director of Edgewood Center for Children and Families in San Francisco. They run 28 different mental health programs for young people, and last year, helped more 11,000 Bay Area kids, teens and young adults. The pandemic has led to an influx of referrals, particularly for their inpatient program for the sickest patients. “We’ve had 65 to 70 referrals for just 20 beds.”

The reasons range from direct impacts of COVID. “This kiddo,” said Garcia describing an Edgewood patient, “had a home with grandparents because his parents had died of COVID, and then his grandparent got COVID and subsequently died.”

She also says loneliness and isolation from friends is a big problem for teens who are biologically wired to be “self individuating” and bonding with peers. “You’re stuck with your family all the time. All those family issues that come up during the teenage years become heightened.” Garcia also said family violence has increase, “there’s a higher number of reports of child abuse.”

Read the rest at: abc7news.com


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