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Children face a mental health crisis: We want to hear from youth who made it through

Hamilton Journal News - 6/6/2024

Jun. 6--Children are going through a mental health crisis the "health crisis of this generation," Dayton Children's has said, leading the health system to invest tens of millions into behavioral health infrastructure.

The Dayton Daily News wants to talk to youth, young adults and parents to hear your stories.

From the experience of mental illness to what helped improve symptoms to get children back on track, the Dayton Daily News wants to talk to those who have been in the midst of this crisis and found their way out. We're primarily looking to speak with families who have dealt with these types of crises.

Please fill out the Google form below or email reporters Lee McClory at eileen.mcclory@coxinc.com and Sam Wildow at samantha.wildow@coxinc.com.

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WHY WE ARE DOING THIS PROJECT

Children are feeling disconnected and alone, and adults have taken notice, including U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who declared a public health crisis for children's mental health.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, youth experience increases in depression and anxiety, as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors, according to CDC data from 2009 to 2019.

Since the pandemic, a 2021 survey showed more than 42% of Ohio high school students said they have grappled with persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Of Ohioans 18 or older, 22% said they had been diagnosed with depression, according to the CDC.

"The number one reason any child is actually admitted to Dayton Children's is thoughts of wanting to kill themselves," Dr. Kelly Blankenship, Dayton Children's associate chief medical officer for behavioral health, said in May 2023.

If you are going through a mental health crisis, call 988, the national Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

For resources for families, visit Dayton Children's website at childrensdayton.org/onoursleeves.

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