Connecticut children are seeking mental health care in greater numbers. We must support them

A signature carrot chair at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. Interior designs that friendly to children were seen, including painted walls and dolls.

As Connecticut’s leading providers of pediatric care, at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, we have seen first-hand in our hospitals the toll the past year has taken on children’s mental health. In communities around the state, children and families are struggling. They are waiting longer to see mental health specialists, waiting longer in emergency rooms, and waiting longer to receive inpatient care when necessary.

The current trends in our state and across the country illustrate an environment that could produce poorer health outcomes for children if we as a state fail to act with urgency.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated children’s behavioral health needs due to social isolation, disruption in routine and resulting stress.

Together we are urging state leaders to support immediate changes that would lead to a comprehensive, integrated and sustainable behavioral health ecosystem that can be readily accessed by families as well as pediatricians, schools and community agencies.

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