After shutting down schools for more than a year, Murphy declares youth mental health crisis

Photo 215415637 © Tatyana Gladskikh
Photo 215415637 © Tatyana Gladskikh

TRENTON, NJ – For more than a year, children and teens across New Jersey were forced to stay at home and engage in remote learning, losing social and emotional interaction and falling behind in key subjects.

Earlier this year, New Jersey identified a learning loss for children due to the pandemic shutdown forced by executive orders from the desk of Governor Phil Murphy.

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among teenagers.

Today, Murphy announced a youth mental health crisis along with other governors across the nation.

As leaders, one of our most important and sacred responsibilities is protecting the health and well-being of our children,” said Governor Murphy. “For far too long, our nation’s youth mental health crisis has been overlooked, and those living with mental health challenges have been stigmatized. Families have lacked access and resources to get their children the critical assistance they need. It is past time we address this crisis head-on and empowers communities to act together. As we navigate this issue, we remain committed to working with young people, parents, teachers, providers, and other stakeholders to ensure that our approach is well-rounded and offers the best support for children across the country.”

Murphy spoke at this week’s National Governors Association, where he sits as the chairman.

“Youth mental health is an urgent issue nationwide,” NGA Vice Chair Utah Governor Spencer
Mental health hospitalizations are up 61% for children under age 19, according to Clarify Health Institute, and suicide is now the second leading cause of death for 10- to 24-year-olds.

The Utah event is the first of four roundtable discussions Governors will convene in multiple states in support of the Strengthening Youth Mental Health initiative.  

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