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New report shows many youths aren’t getting mental health treatment

The report uses survey data and ranks states based on their effectiveness when it comes to addressing issues related to mental health and substance abuse.
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:35 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:45 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A new report from Mental Health America, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness, reveals that many youths in America are not getting the mental health treatment they need.

According to the nonprofit’s website, the purpose of the annual report is, “to provide a snapshot of mental health status among youth and adults for policy and program planning, analysis, and evaluation, track changes in the prevalence of mental health issues and access to mental health care, understand how changes in national data reflect the impact of legislation and policies, and increase dialogue and improve outcomes for individuals and families with mental health needs.”

The report uses survey data and ranks states based on their effectiveness when it comes to addressing issues related to mental health and substance abuse.

According to the report, over 60 percent of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment. The report states that even in the states with the greatest access to mental health treatment, nearly one in three kids goes without treatment. The report also states that fewer than one in three youth with severe depression receive consistent mental health care.

Bailey Pitts, a licensed clinical mental health counselor in Charlotte, spoke to WBTV about the data reflected in the report.

“I think unfortunately there is a lot of children out there who may be reporting this and not getting the help they need because they don’t know how to communicate effectively to get the help that they need,” said Pitts. “As a nation, we need to educate our youth more and let them know that there is people out there who can help them.”

In recent weeks, social media has been connected to mental health struggles. Earlier this month, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified that Facebook harms children and can lead kids to harmful content.

“Facebook knows that they are leading young users to anorexia content,” Haugen told lawmakers during a portion of her testimony.

Jaren Doby, a licensed clinical social worker with Novant Health, spoke to WBTV for the Good Question Podcast. Doby explained that parents need to continue having conversations with their kids about social media and how it is being used.

“Have conversations, about the kind of things they may see or the kind of content that is being kind of publicized depending on popularity and things of that nature. It’s important to talk about these things,” explained Doby.

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