Kids mental health emergency in Minnesota

[KSTP-TV News, November 17, 2021] As hospitals face shortages of staffing and beds amid a surge in COVID cases, they're also treating more kids in crisis. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national state of emergency in children's mental health in October.

According to the organizations, emergency room visits have increased dramatically for mental health crises, including suspected suicide attempts. Twin Cities providers are also seeing a growth in demand.

“Every major system has kids waiting in their emergency room,” said Dr. Mary Beth Lardizabal, the system medical director for child and adolescent psychiatric services at Allina Health. “That's what we call boarding — they're boarding waiting for a bed. We've assessed them, we've determined that they need to come in, but there's nowhere for them to go.”

She said Allina has also seen an increase in children’s mental visits, particularly among teenagers. 

Posted on November 18, 2021 in Mental Health and AddictionMental health

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