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Mental Health of Kids a 'National Emergency' As Per Top Pediatric Organizations–Is Increased Tech Dependence To Blame?

RJ Pierce, Tech Times

Mental health issues in children and adolescents, according to the top pediatric organizations in America, should be considered as a national health crisis. 

(Photo : Getty Images )

As reported by ABC11, this was the proclamation made by organizations such as the AAP (American Association of Pediatricians), AACAP (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry), and the CHA (Children’s Hospital Association). 

According to the three organizations, the mental health of youths have taken a deep dip due to the pandemic, with lots of children and teenagers reporting feeling isolated and afraid. 

And once the COVID-19 outbreak was officially classified as a pandemic, those negative feelings worsened, as per the organizations. 

They came to this conclusion after seeing a “shocking” rise in the instances of families seeking urgent mental health assistance for their kids, reports ABC News. 

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that from March to October of last year, there was a 24% increase in mental health-related emergency visits for children aged 5 to 11. 

The numbers only grow from there. For youths between 12 and 17 years old, the increase in visits peaked at 31%. Aside from this, emergency visits concerning suspected suicide attempts rose to 50.6% for young girls aged 12 to 17. 

Read also: AI Startups to Follow For Mental Health Care

Is Increased Tech Usage To Blame for The Decline Of Mental Health in Youths? 

Some people are pointing to the massive increase in tech dependency during the pandemic as the culprit for this “national emergency.” And perhaps they’re right. 

According to, there are several studies that could point to a link between the decline in teenagers’ and children’s mental health to copious amounts of screen time. 

(Photo : Getty Images )

Much of the troubles involve the sedentary nature of using gadgets. There’s a proposal which says that sedentary time spent in front of a screen is better used for physical activities. And by extension, a lack of physical exercise can possibly be attributed to poorer mental health, alongside physical health. 

It’s because of this that some people are calling for Big Tech to be held liable for the decline in people’s mental health around the world, especially children. 

However, a few studies are also saying that there might be no link at all.

One of these is a study published in Clinical Psychological Science, dated May 4, 2021, as per ScienceDaily. 

The study’s abstract states that over 30 years of data didn’t show a link between increasing reliance on gadgets and children’s mental health problems. Even the technologies that parents are worrying about the most, such as smartphones, aren’t implicated in it at all. 

Limited Screen Time Is Still Good 

But despite contradicting study results, there’s still a lot of good things to take from limiting screen time with gadgets, especially for youngsters. That’s because too much screen time can actually “drain” someone’s well-being. 

There are far more engaging activities for children to do aside from binging Netflix or TikTok all day, and this depends entirely on parental guidance with regards to using gadgets. 

Related: TikTok Owner ByteDance is Limiting Screen Time For Douyin Users Under 14; Restriction Unavailable in the US at the Moment

This article is owned by Tech Times 

Written by RJ Pierce 

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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