Mental Health Services Spending for Kids & Adolescents Has Risen by More Than 25% Since Beginning of Pandemic: Study

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10/05/2023

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Mental health services spending for kids and adolescents has risen by more than 25% since beginning of pandemic: Study

Mental Health Services Spending for Kids and Adolescents Rises by 25% During Pandemic

Mental Health Services Spending for Kids and Adolescents Rises by 25% During Pandemic

A recent study has found that spending on mental health services for children and adolescents has increased by more than 25% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, analyzed data from insurance claims and found that the increase in spending was driven by a rise in telehealth services.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of young people, with many experiencing increased anxiety, depression, and stress due to social isolation, disrupted routines, and uncertainty about the future. The study found that the increase in spending on mental health services was highest among children and adolescents aged 13-18, with a 31% increase in spending compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The rise in telehealth services has been a key factor in the increase in spending on mental health services. With many families unable to access in-person care due to social distancing measures, telehealth has become an important tool for delivering mental health services to children and adolescents. The study found that telehealth visits accounted for 43% of all mental health visits for children and adolescents in the first half of 2020, compared to just 1% in the same period in 2019.

Despite the increase in spending on mental health services, there are concerns that many children and adolescents are still not receiving the care they need. The study found that the increase in spending was not evenly distributed across all age groups, with children under the age of 13 seeing a smaller increase in spending compared to older age groups. There are also concerns that children from low-income families and communities of color may be less likely to access mental health services, despite experiencing higher levels of stress and trauma during the pandemic.

The findings of the study highlight the importance of investing in mental health services for children and adolescents, particularly during times of crisis. As the pandemic continues to impact the mental health of young people, it is essential that we prioritize their well-being and ensure that they have access to the care and support they need.

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