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East Texas counselors see a decline in adolescents’ mental health

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 12:14 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - This month, The AAP, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), and the Children’s Hospital Association have declared a national emergency in children’s mental health.

“We’re seeing a decline in adolescents’ mental health, and just an increase in the needs and services for them,” said licensed counselor Erin Young.

In response to the national emergency declaration, Young said, “Surprising, but not shocking to find this information out because we are seeing it every single day at our office, so we know it. We see it. We know that it’s real that kids are really struggling. Teens are really struggling right now.”

This is because of the normal transitional challenges children face, plus the pandemic.

“There’s been a lot of change, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of planning, and then things falling apart,” Young said.

Arp ISD counselor Lara Parker said the staff works to recognize symptoms and connect with the students.

“When we build those relationships, and we know those kids, and we know how they act on an everyday basis when they come in and somethings wrong, we can tell,” Parker said.

“It’s good to see that it’s being recognized and being talked about because that’s what needs to happen,” Young said. “We need to be having these conversations and thinking through what our kids are going through because they are kids, and they’re dealing with a lot of global changes and national changes, and those do have effects on them,” Young said.

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