During the height of the pandemic, everything from school sports and activities to play dates and playgrounds were on hold for children, and a survey from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows what it’s meant for kids’ mental health.
The survey found that the number of kids ages 3 to 17 struggling with anxiety and depression went from just under 6 million in 2016 to 7.3 million in 2020. While Virginia saw a 1% increase, cases jumped by 36% in Maryland and 58% in the District.
Many kids reported fearing for the health and safety of themselves, family and friends while also dealing with isolation. Drug overdoses and homicides among youth also increased in 2020.
The foundation called for lawmakers to provide the means to meet basic needs, such as housing and food, as well as mental health care based on different life experiences. The foundation said ensuring every child has health insurance and mental health support in schools is another important step.
The survey can be found on the foundation’s website.