The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data from a survey conducted between January and June 2021 to assess the well-being of U.S. youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although mental health had already begun getting worse, lockdowns and protocols presented severe challenges that led to increased problems.
More than half of the respondents (55 percent) reported experiencing emotional abuse, and 11 percent cited physical abuse by a parent or other adult in the home during the pandemic. Additionally, 36 percent of students encountered some form of racism, with the highest level being among Asian students (64 percent), followed by black students and multiracial students (both 55 percent). Almost half of lesbian, gay, or bisexual students, and nearly one-third of students questioning their sexual identity, admitted they had seriously considered suicide, reflecting much greater percentages than those reported by heterosexual students.
CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry, M.D. said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created traumatic stressors that have the potential to further erode students’ mental wellbeing. Our research shows that surrounding youth with the proper support can reverse these trends and help our youth now and in the future.”