Report: Maryland children and youth continue to face mental health challenges

Mental health has become a major barrier in the country to improving a child’s life, an Annie E. Casey Foundation reports in its latest Children’s Data Book 2022 that assesses children’s well-being nationwide and provides a breakdown of services separately. and performance.

This content has been republished with permission from the WTOP News Partners of Maryland Matters. sign for Free Email Subscription to Maryland Matters today.

Erin Diane is excited about her final year at Bowie High School, where she is serving as the president of the school’s public student union, and her future aspirations for attending college.

But the 17-year-old Prince George’s resident says mental health remains a challenge among her peers. One way to eliminate it: Maryland legislators must approve statewide policy that reflects legislation U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) presented last year on Capitol Hill which funnels federal funds to police in schools and uses them to hire more school counselors and pay for other student services.

“Disciplining students for non-violent things and making arrests and suspensions, this resulted in the students being taken out of the classroom,” Diane said. “Depriving them of their education is harmful.

“It affects the mental health of anyone, especially black and brown students and creates a pipeline from school to prison.”

Erin Diane, 17, a student at Bowie High School in Prince George’s County, said ditching the pipeline from school to prison is one way to eliminate mental health challenges among her peers.

Mental health has become a major obstacle in the nation to improving a child’s life, the Annie E. Casey Foundation outlines in its latest issue 2022 Kids Count Data Book which assess children’s welfare nationally and provide a breakdown of services and performance separately.

The Foundation’s 33rd edition focused on mental health and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected children and families when the virus paralyzed the country in March 2020.

The pandemic has delayed some data from the US Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress. For example, fourth grade reading and eighth grade math are based on 2019 data and high school graduation information from the 2019-20 school year did not come in time for publication in the data book.

Although national trends show that children in poverty and parents who lack secure work become ‘better’, other factors have become ‘worse’, such as 3- to 4-year-olds out of school and increased obesity among those who do not. They are between 10 and 17 years old.

Black children ranked highest in 2020 among those who live in poverty and children who are underweight and overweight or obese.

Nationwide, the number of 3- to 17-year-olds who experienced anxiety or depression increased 25% from 9.4% in 2016 to 11.8% in 2020. The numbers are based on those diagnosed or reported with these symptoms. Symptoms by a doctor or health care provider.

During the same time frame, Maryland ranked 13th in the nation with a 36% increase in children ages 3 to 17 experiencing anxiety or depression whether it was reported or diagnosed by a doctor or health care provider.

Maryland was ranked 19th in the nation for overall child well-being, which the institution deemed “best.”

Among the foundation’s key indicators of economic well-being, education, health, family, and community, Maryland ranked first in the first half of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“Everyone deserves a break”

The Maryland Center for Economic Policy in Baltimore, which first partnered with the foundation on the Kids Count report, presented some of the policy suggestions For Maryland legislators.

Benjamin Orr, president and CEO of the policy organization, said the legislature should extend the “modest” $500 child tax credit that is set to expire at the end of the year. The credit is provided to families with an annual income of $6,000 or less who have disabled dependents under the age of 17.

Sponsored by Del Julie Balakovich Carr (Demontgomery) legislation This year to extend the children’s tax credit until January 1, 2027. It will increase the annual household income to $15,000 and provide a child credit of 6 or younger or under 17 for a person with a disability.

Balakovich Carr’s legislation has not advanced outside the House committee, but she said in a Twitter share June 4 “will continue to fight to expand Maryland’s child tax credit to include more families.”

Orr also said lawmakers should ensure the implementation and funding of the family leave and sick leave program and education reform plan, Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

“We can’t say we did it and stop caring,” he said. “We have to make sure that these programs are actually fully funded. [and] They are delivering the benefits the legislators intended.”

Stephanie Maseko, a 16-year-old student at Bowie High School in Prince George, came up with an idea that wouldn’t cost much, if any, money.

High school freshmen suggest repeating a 30-minute counseling period at school that used most of the past school year. Similar to the classroom, she said, the students sat in class to follow up on their homework, complete their homework, or just relax without direct instruction from the teacher.

“This has been a positive benefit to the school,” she said.

Less than a month into this school year, Maseko said the only break during the eight-hour school day is a 30-minute lunch between her third semester of two hours.

Even though she’s preparing for college after graduating from high school, the pressures of trying to get into a four-year university can be exhausting.

The impact of COVID-19 has forced Maseko to focus more on her mental health, even if that means sacrificing extra credit on a long-term project or major assignment.

“If it affects me mentally, then I will only have two points [missing] So I don’t drain myself to the point where it becomes unhealthy. “I’m managing my time so it doesn’t get too hectic and doesn’t get overwhelmed. Everyone deserves a break…because you’re going to push yourself over the limit.”

Leave a Comment