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Sound the Alarm for Kids

Children’s Wisconsin joins national effort to “Sound the Alarm for Kids” facing mental health crisis

Children’s Wisconsin is taking another step in our efforts to raise awareness about the mental and behavioral health crisis facing kids. We’re joining Children’s Hospital Association, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) to “Sound the Alarm for Kids” to not only raise awareness, but to urge Congress to enact legislation and increase funding to address the issue. Read about this week's declaration of a state of emergency.

Rates of childhood mental health concerns and suicide rose steadily between 2010 and 2020 and by 2018 suicide was the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. The pandemic worsened this ongoing and significant crisis in children's mental health by causing disruptions in daily routine, social isolation, financial insecurity, grief for many children and families and pediatric labor shortages. 

“The crisis is significant. About one in five kids in Wisconsin is struggling with a mental illness. Our kids have high rates of anxiety, depression and suicide and not enough access to care,” said Amy Herbst, MSSW, APSW, vice president, Mental and Behavioral Health, Children’s Wisconsin., “Children's Wisconsin has a vision that Wisconsin’s kids will be the healthiest kids in the nation, but we can only do this if we address their mental health.”

In November 2019, Children’s Wisconsin identified seven initiatives to address the mental and behavioral health needs of Wisconsin kids that would represent a $150 million investment. Learn more about the progress made in 2020 to detect needs sooner, improve access to services and reduce the stigma, and read about the largest donation in the history of Children's Wisconsin that will transform the delivery of integrated mental and behavioral health care at every Children’s Wisconsin primary care and urgent care locations.