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Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

A new Texan campaign draws attention to the mental health crisis affecting kids and teens

There has been an increase in depression, traumatic stress, and suicidality among young people across the nation.

A state of emergency has been declared for children’s mental health due to an increase in depression, trauma, and suicidality among youth nationwide. Recent statistics on mental health in Austin-Travis County reveals a 65 percent increase in suicide mortality among children and youth in the City of Austin during a five-year period.

These developments are mirrored in Austin and Travis County, where children’s mental health is being prioritised as a matter of public health.

APH and Integral Care are launching the “Ask, Listen, Talk, Repeat” public awareness campaign to assist parents and carers in starting important dialogues with our children and youth, a generation that is frequently overlooked when talking about mental health.

Result of the stats

Recent statistics on mental health in Austin-Travis County reveals a 65 percent increase in suicide mortality among children and youth in the City of Austin during a five-year period. 33 persons who were 24 years old or younger died through suicide in 2022. Children and teens in Travis County sought treatment in emergency rooms for mental, behavioural, or emotional problems a total of 40,254 times during that same year.

According to surveys conducted nationwide, one in six American children under the age of 18 have a mental health issue, and approximately half of all mental diseases develop before the age of 14.

According to Dr. Desmar Walkes, the health authority for Austin-Travis County, a number of issues, including the surge in social media use and the loss of friendship time due to the epidemic, have had a negative impact on our children’s mental health in recent years.

What you can do

Let’s begin by having brief talks as our reaction. Spend some time discussing your children’s feelings with them, and keep an eye out for any changes in their behaviour.

Mental wellness is important at every age. Early self-awareness development can assist children and teenagers manage their mental health into adulthood, according to Integral Care CEO David Evans. Dialogues about our feelings will become as common as discussing other elements of our lives thanks to this campaign’s resources for having open, honest dialogues about mental health.

Aim of the campaign

The “Ask, Listen, discuss, Repeat” initiative aims to create a supportive environment for children to discuss about mental health while bringing attention to its significance.

AskListenTalk.org, the campaign’s website, offers parents and other carers tools to support their kids, including information on how to recognise a mental health problem, how to start a conversation, how to support your own mental health, and where to find support in Austin and Travis County.

The initiatives’ proponents hope that they will contribute to reducing the stigma that is still attached to mental health.

According to Travis County Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Travillion, COVID-19 and its aftermath have caused unheard-of interruptions for children over the past three years. According to Dr. Desmar Walkes, the health authority for Austin-Travis County, a number of issues, including the surge in social media use and the loss of friendship time due to the epidemic, have had a negative impact on our children’s mental health in recent years.

With this campaign, the authorities hope to equip parents, guardians, and the local community with the resources they need to continue crucial dialogue and strengthen ties with their community. It’s critical that we treat mental health as a vital component of our overall wellbeing.

Natasha Harper-Madison, a council member for District 1, added that we must acknowledge our part in influencing one another’s mental health. Spend some time keeping an eye on yourself and the people you love, especially our children.

Integral Care, Travis County, and the City of Austin are contributing resources to this effort.

By Parvathy Sukumaran

Parvathy Sukumaran is a Content Creator and Editor at JustCare Health. She is an Educator and a Language Lecturer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and an M.A in English Literature. She is passionate about writing, archaeology, music and cooking.

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