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Lack of mental health resources puts children in crisis

Lack of mental health resources puts children in crisis

Source: Photo Credit: Todd Michaels Civic Media

May 22, 2024 7:31 AM CDT
By: Lisa M. Hale

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GREEN BAY, WI – (CIVIC MEDIA) – As the mental health reporter for USA Today Network, Natalie Eilbert has covered stories on the mental health crisis as it relates to the scarcity of care and how children are affected.

Eilbert appeared on Rational Revolution this weekend. She said that she knows firsthand how hard it is to find mental health care in Wisconsin.

“I’ve struggled with the barriers to access. I’ve been on the phone for hours and hours trying to find someone to help me, both in Wisconsin and New York,” said Eilbert. “It’s terrible. And the worst thing you can hear when you are in pain is that there is nothing they can do.”

Children in crisis

Eilbert says children are experiencing issues with mental health more and more.

“One in four kids are struggling,” said Eilbert. “Like half of girls are contemplating suicide. There is a pervasive sense of hopelessness and sadness in schools.”

Eilbert says she has found that many children missed out on crucial social development when isolated from their peers during COVID-19.

“Some kids did not learn how to socially connect with other people,” said Eilbert. “I talk to kids all the time who say ‘I’ve never had a deep conversation in my life.’”

Addressing the crisis

Eilbert said addressing the mental health crisis in Wisconsin and the nation is going to take the entire community working together

“In order to address mental health it has to be a community wide response. It can’t just fall on students. It can’t just fall on parents. It can’t just fall on teachers. It has to be a full continuum of care that the community is wrapping themselves around,” said Eilbert. 

She says that while addressing the mental health crisis needs a global effort, individuals can play their parts too.

“Be kind and open and not judgemental of what someone else is going through, said Eilbert. “Ask leaders of schools ‘What are the mental health programs that exist?’ And ‘What needs to happen to get mental health programs at my school?’ And chances are they’ll say ‘We need money!’ So, get involved. Become a community voice and tell the story of people who are struggling.”

Rational Revolution is hosted by Mark Becker and airs Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. on most Civic Media stations. 

If you need crisis mental health care call or text 988, the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. In an emergency call 911.

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