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"It's life or death": Teen mental health in crisis
06:09 - Source: CNN

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, or visit the hotline’s website.

CNN  — 

Every night that Dr. Jennifer Hoffmann works as an attending physician in the pediatric ER, she says, at least one child comes in with a mental or behavioral health emergency. Over the span of her career, she’s seen the number of young people needing help grow enormously.

“The most common problems that I see are children with suicidal thoughts or children with severe behavior problems, where they may be a risk of harm to themselves or others,” said Hoffmann, who works at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “We’re also seeing younger children, especially since the pandemic started. Children as young as 8, 9 or 10 years old are coming to the emergency department with mental health concerns.

“It’s just mind-blowing.”