The country is experiencing a mental health crisis among children and adolescents. The isolation and school closures of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an already troubling long-term trend of rising mental health problems among young people, with Black youth and those living in poverty faring worse than others. The underlying causes of the longer-term deterioration in youth mental health are not well understood, although some experts blame the simultaneous rise in the use of social media. A shortage of mental health providers is also a factor. Primary care physicians are having to fill the gap, although many report feeling ill-equipped to do so. Meanwhile, experts worry that kids are being prescribed drugs without the psychotherapies that research shows are needed to address anxiety and depression. The ...

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