Children’s hospital has in fact declared “a pediatric mental health state of emergency.” This is after an unparalleled number of children that are 8 and older have reported needing immediate treatment. This is for mostly suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Children’s Hospital Overrun
Jena Hausmann, the Children’s Hospital Colorado CEO, said the facility is overrun with “kids that are attempting suicide. Also, they are suffering from other forms of major mental health illness.”
On Tuesday, Hausmann issued a call to action to Democratic Governor Jared Polis. Moreover, she urged state lawmakers and agencies to prioritize mental health services for children. Thus releasing more funding for suicide prevention. Then recruit more providers, and therefore reduce the bureaucracy in enabling children to access services.
Children’s Hospital: Massively Long Waits for Beds
Dr. David Brumbaugh said between a dozen and two dozen children systemwide may wait for hours or days on any particular day. He is Children’s Hospital Colorado Chief Medical Officer. This is to get a behavioral health bed. Moreover, to combat this critical situation, Hausmann has suggested setting up emergency centers. It has have emerged for COVID-19 patients, too, in fact, accommodate the overflow.
Suicide: Leading Cause of Death
“It really has been devastating to see suicide, in fact, become the leading cause of death for Colorado’s children.” Hausmann said this.
Operating 16 urgent, emergency and specialty locations statewide, Children’s Hospital Colorado, saw a 72% increase systemwide in behavioral health emergency department visits from January through April. This is compared with the same period in 2019, officials have said.
Developing Long-Term Affects
The director of psychology training at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Dr. Jenna Glover has said the concern is that children will develop long-term affects. Moreover, children are coping with COVID-19 pandemic stress. This is primarily through substance use, withdrawal from normal involvement and eating-disorder behavior, she said.
“In fact, it’s not going to go away next year,” she said. “As a result, now they just have to reengage in life. Moreover, they don’t have the resources. At this point, they are burned out. Really just hopeless.”
To get help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255.