Mental health ER visits among children nearly triple at UW Health in past decade

David Wahlberg:

Throughout Wisconsin, 34% of high school students report feeling sad and hopeless almost every day, a 10 percentage point increase over the past decade, according to an annual report released last week by the Office of Children’s Mental Health. 

A similar situation is being seen in other states, according to a recent article in the journal Pediatrics, which said hospital emergency visits related to suicide increased 59% in Illinois from 2016 to 2021.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death of children ages 10 to 14 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The increase in ER visits comes amid a decade-long increase in anxiety and depression among adolescents, said Shanda Wells, a pediatric behavioral health specialist at UW Health.

Leave a Reply