The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 Behavioral Health Group is releasing the fourth monthly youth-focused behavioral health impact situation report. This analysis assesses the likely current and future impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health and potential for substance use issues among Washingtonians ages 18 and younger. The DOH plans to continue distributing updated reports, and welcome your feedback. For questions, please contact Mary Franzen at firstname.lastname@example.org. As a reminder, other behavioral health resources and recommendations are located here.
- Youth behavioral health is of particular concern as family, school, and social interactions continue to be affected by the
- The rate of emergency department (ED) visits for three syndromic indicators (suicidal ideation, suspected suicide attempts, and suspected overdoses) for Washington youth increased from the previous reporting period, while psychological distress decreased from the previous reporting period.
- By the end of the reporting period (May 31, 2021) more than two thirds of elementary (71.4%) and middle (69.2%) school students had regular in-person instruction, and 63.9% of high school students have regular in-person instruction.
- For children’s preventive medical appointments during the most recent reporting period (June 9 – 21, 2021), survey data11 show an increase in Washington adults reporting that their child no longer had health insurance or had a change in health insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic (315.5%) and that someone in the household was ill with the coronavirus (108.3%), compared to the previous reporting period (May 26 – June 7, 2021) (Graph 10)
- The most recent reporting period showed an increase in three of the four mental, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disorders: there was a 10.9% increase in major depressive disorder, single episode, unspecified inpatient community hospital discharges; 6.0% increase in major depressive disorder, recurrent severe without psychotic features inpatient community hospital discharges; 36.8% increase in major depressive disorder, recurrent, severe with psychotic symptoms, and a 35.7% decrease in conduct disorder, unspecified inpatient community hospital discharges.
- Monthly filings from the AOC show the initiation of a court case by formal submission for mental illness (minor) cases. Year-over-year percent change of monthly mental illness (minor) case filings decreased from March 2020 – June 2020. Note that the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and associated court closures may impact court filing data. May 2021 presented with an increase in the year-over-year percent change for monthly mental illness (minor) case filings (100%), as compared to the last reporting period (Graph 16)
- Monthly filings from the AOC show the initiation of a court case by formal submission for child custody and marriage dissolution with children. Note that the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and associated court closures may impact court filing data. May 2021 presented with a decrease in the year-over-year percent change for monthly child custody case filings (-97%) and an increase in the year-over-year percent change for dissolution with children (35%) (Graph 17).