Mayo Clinic Health System experts say mental health issues on the rise

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Mental health issues in adolescents were on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic, but health experts are seeing rates of depression and anxiety symptoms double since the pandemic, according to La Crosse’s Mayo Clinic Health System.

The United States Centers for Disease Control is warning of a mental health crisis among teenagers.

About four in 10 teens reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless, and one in five said they have contemplated suicide.

Medical experts believe social distancing plays a big role in developing social skills amongst younger individuals.

“We’ve seen that socialization continue for kids,” said clinical therapist Janice Schreier. “They’re not as involved in activities that they had been in the past. We also know social media has played a part. Kids are disconnecting from other activities and are engaging more in social media.”

Health officials encourage family, friends, and teachers to lend a helping hand and ask if someone is ok if they’re isolating themselves.