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Impact of COVID-19 on youth mental health paints worrisome picture

According to a March 2021 report by FAIR Health, an independent nonprofit that maintains a large database of health insurance claims. Using claims for medical and other services related to mental health, researches examined changes in insurance claims for mental health -related services (including emergency care), between 2019 (pre-COVID) and 2020 (first year of COVID).

Key Findings

Mental health claims doubled in 2020 compared to 2019 for those age 13-18 and those age 29-22.

Mental health claims related to intentional self-injury (suicide attempts, deliberate self-injury without intent to die) doubled for both age groups

Claims related to overdoses and substance use disorders nearly doubled for the 13-18 year old group and more than doubled (129% increase) in the older group.

For the age group 6- to 12 years old, significant increases were found in claims for the diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and tic disorders

For 13 to 18-year-olds, claims related to generalized anxiety increased by 94%. Major Depressive Disorder diagnoses increased by 84%.

Full report found here.


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