Psychiatrist with CT Children’s talks warning signs your child may need mental health help


(WTNH) — Right now, there is a mental health crisis with children across the state. We spoke with a psychiatrist at Connecticut Children’s Wednesday who says they’ve seen a spike when it comes to kids wanting to hurt themselves or others and needing emergency services.

Before the pandemic, they saw a 20% increase in these types of patients every year. Now, that’s up to 40%. And beds are filled.

Dr. Jennifer Downs, the Division Chief Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Connecticut Children’s, said, “We’re seeing a lot of kids that are coming in with concerns of suicidal thoughts, concerns of aggression, lots of anxiety, depressed moods. Also difficulty with eating and new eating disorders.”

Here are some warning signs if your child might need some therapy:

  • Sadness
  • Showing fear
  • Isolating from their peers
  • Struggling to keep up in school

If you need help finding services, calling 211 can help.

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