KCPT: Flatland: Pandemic Spurs Concern About Suicide Among KC-Area Youths

April 29, 2020

Mental health experts across the metro, like at Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City's Crittenton Children's Center are seeing a decrease in number of children coming to the for behavioral and mental health help. 

When it comes to COVID-19, and the behavioral health impacts it is having on kids and their families, few issues are as stark as suicide. Other aspects seem to have an almost Newtonian feel: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Jerrie Jacobs-Kenner, President of Saint Luke's Crittenton Children's Center, spoke with KCPT about what Crittenton is seeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The dip Crittenton is seeing in admissions during the pandemic is, in fact, similar to drops it typically sees when school is out for the summer or for long breaks. The 46-bed facility now has about 25 to 30 patients.

Mental health experts at Crittenton have put their own spin on a term that is now familiar to all of us: Instead of “social distancing,” their phrase is “physical distancing.”

Parents are advised to maintain structure for their kids to keep them engaged and active. Perhaps, as per one suggestion, they can even craft a time capsule of their pandemic life.

The best thing parents can do for their kids is take care of themselves, said Jacobs-Kenner.

“Finding your own footing in terms of what you can control and what you can dream and wish for in the future is step one,” she said. “You give your kids the little things to look forward to, the little things they can control, and those are really the stepping stones to feeling like you’ve got some foundation under you.”

Read the full article in KCPT's digital magazine, Flatland: Pandemic Spurs Concern About Suicide Among KC-Area Youths

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