DENVER (KDVR) — Children’s Hospital Colorado hosted a virtual roundtable on Tuesday. They said right now the leading cause of death for Colorado‘s children is suicide. They have declared what they call, a state of emergency.
The virtual roundtable was attended by doctors, educators, and a politician. People from different occupations, but all sharing one message, kids in Colorado are in a crisis.
“Today, for the first time in our 170 year history I am declaring a pediatric mental health state of emergency,” Jenna Housmann, Children’s Hospital Colorado president said.
COVID-19, the lockdowns, school closings, lack of social interactions with peers, all having a terrible effect on kids mental health.
This child mental health crisis hit close to home for Dr. David Brumbaugh, who is the chief medical officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado when a patient reminded him of his own son.
“His son tried out for the baseball team in his school and had not made the team he wanted to be on, it was that week that he tried to take his life. I’m a little choked up because our kids were so similar,” Brumbaugh said.
Statistics show Colorado is among the worst states in the country in addressing pediatric mental health, in at 48. In 2021 half the kids in Colorado pediatric ER‘s were experiencing a mental health crisis.
“There are many nights that we are dealing with more behavior health issues than medical issues,” Dr. Michael DiStefano, Children’s Hospital Colorado Springs said.
The solution for this crisis is just as complicated as the crisis itself.