Teens' mental health suffered amid COVID-19, CDC warns

New CDC data shows teenagers' mental health took a significant hit during the pandemic, with 44 percent reporting persistent sadness or hopelessness in the past year. 

The finding is based on a survey of 7,705 students from public and private U.S. high schools conducted between January and June 2021. 

Thirty-seven percent of high school students said they experienced poor mental health during the pandemic, and 55 percent said they experienced emotional abuse from someone in their home. 

"These data echo a cry for help," CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry, MD, said in a news release. "The COVID-19 pandemic has created traumatic stressors that have the potential to further erode students' mental well-being. Our research shows that surrounding youth with the proper support can reverse these trends and help our youth now and in the future."

The findings follow warnings from the American Academy of Pediatrics and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, on the growing youth mental health crisis.

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