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1 in 10 children in Virginia suffer from anxiety or depression, study finds

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Newly released data shows that about 1 in 10 Virginia children are experiencing mental health problems. Those numbers are on par with the national average.

The Annie E Casey foundation says 11% of children in Virginia – ages three to 17 – are suffering from anxiety or depression. That’s reported by their parents.

“And I’ve seen higher rates of that even when you look at data directly from children,” says

Lauren Snellings – research director at Voices for Virginia’s Children.

It’s a mental health crisis she fears is worse now than when the data was collected in 2019 and 2020.

“So I think this is just the peak of what the pandemic has caused,” Snellings says.

Funding for children’s services, including counselors, social workers and psychiatrists, could help ease things. And, she adds, improving economic conditions overall will also help. Children who grow up in poverty are two to three times more likely to develop mental health conditions.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Mallory Noe-Payne is a Radio IQ reporter based in Richmond.