SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Experts have warned of a mental health crisis facing American children since the pandemic started.
Associated Press interviews with teachers, education officials and mental health experts show that's now playing out at schools in the form of increased childhood depression, anxiety, eating disorders, fights and thoughts of suicide.
In low-income areas, adverse childhood experiences were high before the pandemic.
Now, the crisis is compounded by a shortage of school staff and mental health professionals.
In California, a small but growing number of teachers are taking a course called Youth Mental Health First Aid.
It teaches adults how to spot warning signs of mental health risks and substance abuse in children, and how to prevent a tragedy.