The Last Word: How To Tackle Mental Health Issues Impacting Texas Youth

“The only way we’re going to get ahead of all these hospitalizations is to intervene sooner.”

Andy Keller
President and CEO
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

.…on how to tackle mental health issues impacting Texas children and adolescents, via the Dallas Morning News.

Andy Keller

Concern has swept the nation since COVID hit about the pandemic’s lasting affects on the mental health of children and adolescents. But that mental health crisis has actually been worsening for years, even before the pandemic. 

The Dallas Morning News’ Marin Wolf notes that Texas offers less access to mental health care than any other state, with less than 30% of the state’s youth with major depression receiving mental health treatment. While the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium created by the legislature in 2019 has helped, doctors and nurses are still overwhelmed by youths experiencing anxiety and depression.

“I think the impulse is, ‘Well, we need more hospitals. We need to crack down on social media. We need to do whatever.’ And that’s all important,” Keller told the DMN. “But really, to me, the most important thing to do is we need to get upstream.”

Keller believes we need to help pediatricians identify mental health issues “when they’re small, when we can deal with them, when we can keep the child on a healthy trajectory, and we never get to a point of crisis unless we don’t win with the biology.”

You can read more about how organizations like Children’s Health, UT Southwestern, and Cook Children’s are working to do just that by reading Wolf’s story here.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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