Doctor Pickett, Sophia Jimenez, Covid discussed on 60 Minutes
We unfortunately see a lot of kids who have attempted suicide. That is something that we see, I'd say at least once a shift. Once a shift, yes, unfortunately. Doctor Pickett has worked in the ER for 9 years. Is there any group that's not being impacted? No, we're seeing it all kids, you know, who come from very well off families, kids who don't kids who are suburban kids who are urban kids who are rural, we're seeing it all. The surge of families needing help for their kids has revealed a deficit of people and places to treat them. Across the country, the average wait time to get an appointment with a therapist is 48 days, and for children, it's often longer. What does it say to you that the place they have to come as the emergency room, that there's something wrong with our system, the emergency room should not be at the place to go and get acute mental healthcare when you're in a crisis. We are not nice calm environments. But they're desperate. Yeah, but we were there and we see everybody, but I wish there were more places that kids could go to get the help that they need. We just have a couple questions for you to answer on the iPad. To manage the mental health crisis and heavy caseload, doctor Pickett introduced an iPad with a series of questions that screened the mental health of every child ten and older who comes to the ER for any reason. Among the questions, have you been having thoughts about killing yourself? And have you felt your family would be better off if you were dead? Harsh questions that can be lifesavers to the kids who answer them. We've had four kids that I know of personally that came in for a completely unrelated problem. So a broken arm or an earache or whatever it was. And actually we're acutely suicidal to the point where we needed to transfer them to inpatient facility to then in there. So we're catching kids who are in very much crisis like that. But we're also catching the kids that just need help and don't know what to do and haven't really talked about this. According to the CDC, hospital admissions data shows the number of teenage girls who have been suicidal has increased 50% nationwide since 2019. I thought it was normal. Sophia Jimenez was one of them. I remember crying every night and not knowing what was going on and I felt so alone. Sofia and her friend Nina used were an 8th grade looking forward to high school when COVID turned their worlds upside down. I've always been a super smart kid and I've always had really good grades. And then as soon as the pandemic hit, I failed a class when I was virtual, I had no motivation to do anything. I would just sit in my room, never leave, and it was obvious signs of depression. My mental health got really bad, especially my eating disorder. I was basically home alone all day, my parents, while they noticed that I wasn't eating, I would refuse to eat. So then they ended up taking me to the hospital. Sofia had to stay in the hospital for two weeks before a bed opened up at a psychiatric facility. Your generation got hit with this. And what's supposed to be kind of a fun carefree time. What was lost? What did you guys lose during the pandemic? Myself, yourself. Yeah. I would definitely say there were big pieces of myself that I were definitely lost. I lost friends. Because we wouldn't see each other. We couldn't go to our first home come in. I couldn't have an 8th grade graduation, I know that doesn't sound like that big of a deal. It's a big deal when you're an 8th grade, yeah. I feel like if the pandemic hadn't happened at all, a lot of my. Sadness and mental problems would not be as bad as they are. It just made everything worse. Are we in crisis mode right now? We are. We are in crisis mode. And it's scary. Tammy mackley has worked as a child therapist throughout Wisconsin for the last 25 years. I think there was a hope that, you know, we're back in school, the kids are able to see their friends again and play sports, that this would all go away. Has it? No. No, I've noticed that the wait lists are longer. Kids are struggling with more anxiety, more depression, so we were in a mental health crisis prior to the pandemic. Did the pandemic accelerated? I believe so, but we're coming out of the pandemic, but kids have still lost two years. Two years of socialization, two years of education, two years of their world kind of being shaken up. So as we get quote unquote back to normal, I think kids are struggling, even when the pandemic's over, this crisis isn't going to be over. CDC numbers show that even before the pandemic, the number of adolescents saying they felt persistently sad or hopeless was up 40% since 2009. There are lots of theories on why social media increased screen time and isolation, but the research isn't definitive. This past march, Tammy mcclue was tapped by children's hospital to run an urgent care walk in clinic specifically open to treat kids mental health. We are here to give some help. Open 7 days a week from three to 9 30, it's one of the first clinics of its kind in the country. Now, what's gonna work for you and what's gonna work for you. So when they come to our clinic, we assess them, and we provide them with a therapy session. So we give them some interventions. We give them a plan, an action plan. The plans are catered to each child's situation. Actionable things families and kids can do while they look for a doctor or facility to make room for them. How long have the wait list been to get help? Normally you're put on your scheduled and appointment within a few months. And then months? And then if you want a child psychiatrist, you're looking at months to a year. How important is it to get them help? When they need it immediately. As days go on, the symptoms get worse. If you have a depressed child, you know, maybe they started out where they were feeling depressed. And then as the days goes on, they're suicidal. So it really you really do need to get that help and that support right away. 11 year old Austin bringer desperately needed that support during the pandemic. He's a 5th grader at Roosevelt elementary school in Milwaukee. How old were you in the pandemic hit? Yeah, I was. I was still going to school, but then I kept hearing on the news in the car, just like pandemic stay put quarantine 14 days. When they first said, hey, you don't have to go to school. What was your reaction.