A newly published study led by the University of Calgary shows that the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased mental distress for children, leading to a sharp increase in emergency department visits for attempted suicide and suicide ideation among children and adolescents under the age of 19 years old. The pandemic had minimal impact on most people’s mental health globally according to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), but the findings may not hold true for children. Nicole Racine, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa, believes children were forgotten about during the pandemic and they are one of the vulnerable groups that suffered the most from lockdowns. The University of Calgary study examined 11 million pediatric emergency department visits across 18 countries between January 2020 and July 2021 and found a 22% increase in the number of children and adolescents going to emergency rooms for suicide attempts and an 8% increase in visits for suicide ideation during the pandemic. Several experts have raised questions over the methodology of the BMJ study and have argued that an increase in suicide attempts during the pandemic indicates that more children are struggling now than they were before COVID-19.

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By hassani

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