Colorado: Mental health emergency after unprecedented increase in children with suicidal thoughts

Colorado: Mental health emergency after unprecedented increase in children with suicidal thoughts

A children’s hospital in Colorado declared a “pediatric mental health emergency” after an unprecedented number of children 8 years and older need immediate treatment, primarily for suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Children’s Hospital Colorado Executive Director Jena Hausmann said the facility is overflowing with children attempting suicide and suffering from other forms of serious mental illness.

Hausmann issued a call to action Tuesday to Governor Jared Polis, lawmakers and state agencies to prioritize mental health services for children, free up more funds for suicide prevention, recruit more providers and cut red tape to allow children access services, The Gazette reported.

A study in Australia focused on the emotional impact of growing up with a canine pet on children.

Dr. David Brumbaugh, medical director at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said that between a dozen and two dozen children throughout the system can wait hours or days on any given day for a behavioral health bed. As a result, Hausmann has suggested the creation of emergency centers, such as those that emerged for COVID-19 patients.

“It has been devastating to see suicide become the leading cause of death for Colorado children,” Hausmann said.

Children’s Hospital Colorado, which operates 16 urgent care, emergency and specialty locations across the state, saw a 72% system-wide increase in behavioral health emergency department visits from January to April compared to the same period in 2019, authorities said.

Following the school shooting in Santa Clarita, California, a mental health expert talks about the signs to watch out for with children.

Brumbaugh noted a sense of urgency for Children’s Hospital Colorado, as three or four teens attempt suicide a week and beds at the facility are completely full.

Children’s Hospital Colorado is now expanding multiple campuses to add inpatient and outpatient mental health beds and services, including in Colorado Springs.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.