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Tufts University School of Medicine

The Mental Health Emergency in Young People: What Parents Need to Know

“There have never been adequate resources for child mental health,” said John Sargent, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine. And with the pandemic, the system “is absolutely slammed with need." Photo: Shutterstock
Friday, December 17, 2021 - 2:00pm

Last week, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a rare public advisory warning of a widespread increase in mental health issues among children and adolescents. His report pointed to an alarming rise in youth suicide attempts and emergency visits for mental health concerns, particularly since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, three leading groups of pediatric health professionals have declared a national emergency in youth mental health and called for sweeping changes in psychiatric care systems. 

Child psychiatrist John Sargent spoke with Tufts Now about what’s behind the emergency and what parents need to know. Sargent, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, is director and vice chair of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at Tufts Children’s Hospital.

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