Children’s mental health concerns rise as schools open in Dayton area
“We’re seeing more children, and we’re seeing more children at risk,” Blankenship said.
Child suicide is on the rise
Suicide among teens and young adults was already a concern as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption and challenges. Data show that these suicides are on the rise in many parts of Ohio and nationwide.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, suicide is the leading cause of death among children ages 10-14 and the second leading cause of death among children ages 15-34 in Ohio.
From 2019 to 2021, the number of emergency room visits for teenage girl suicide attempts increased by 51% nationwide.
A recent survey of students in several counties in Ohio found that approximately 18-26% of students in Clark and Erie counties have seriously considered suicide.
“The numbers are really scary,” said Blankenship. “In some areas, it’s about four he’s one child.”
From 2011 to 2020, suicides among 10- to 14-year-olds in Ohio increased 189%, from 9 to 26. The number of suicides from her 15th to her 19th in Ohio also peaked at 104 in 2018, but dropped to 64 in 2020.
According to ODH, the counties in the Dayton area had suicide rates per 100,000 people ranging from 12.0 in Warren County to 20.1 in Clark County from 2016 to 2020. Montgomery County fell in the middle with a suicide rate of 15.3 per 100,000 population.
Consistency, connection is key
One way parents can help is by providing their children with a calm environment and a regular schedule.
“It’s really important to have a schedule,” said Blankenship.
Health experts have found that children in families who eat dinner together are less likely to develop depression and anxiety. The time we can enjoy each other,” he said.
Additionally, feeling connected to adults and peers can help children. found that they were less likely to report feelings of sadness and hopelessness. They were less likely to report having had serious thoughts of suicide (14% vs. 26%) and less likely to have attempted suicide (6% vs. 12%).
Shannon Cox, director of the Montgomery County Center for Educational Services, said:
“There is not an educator on this planet who does not believe in being an adult who cares about one of his students. , can be a school counselor.”
Doctors also encourage parents to talk to their children when they’re feeling anxious. She says it’s normal to feel stressed and anxious. Parents should talk with their children to see if there are any specific issues that are bothering them, he said.
“Go ahead and start that dialogue,” Kasdorf said.
Parents can ask, “What do your friends say about this?” or “What do you know about it?”
Casdorph also recommends that parents monitor the types of media their children are absorbing and feel comfortable setting limits.
Area providers are also expanding to meet these growing needs. Dayton Children’s Hospital is adding her $100 million behavioral health center, which is set to open in 2025, and the state is funding $25 million for its expansion through the American Rescue Plan Act fund. increase.
“This allows us to almost double our crisis center,” says Blankenship.
Dayton Children’s has satellite offices in places such as Troy and Beavercreek, has expanded its presence in Springboro, and is adding therapeutic services in Huber Heights. Physicians recommend that parents or guardians first contact their child’s pediatrician if they have concerns about their child’s mental and/or behavioral health.
Dayton Children’s also provides support through its On Our Sleeves program. This is a national movement to raise awareness of the mental health of children. Not only does it help break down stigma, it also helps connect families and educators to local resources.
Dayton Children’s partners with local school districts to provide school resilience coordinators. To address long-term counseling needs, Dayton Public Schools asks students to work with their Resilience Coordinator, who also involves parents and teachers in the process. If you need short-term counseling, DPS has counselors and student behavior therapists.
help is available
For children in crisis, 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline operates 24/7 to provide covert and free support to those in distress. The Crisis Line for Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) is 833-580-CALL (2255).
Additional crisis lines are:
For more information, visit Dayton Children’s Mental Health Resource Directory at www.childrensdayton.org/mental-health-resource-directory.