Native survey exhibits that psychological challenges for youngsters are rising

“We are action oriented because we know Liam and Liam was an action child and he had a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm and we try to channel some of that energy and enthusiasm to help others. Said Todd Medd.

That energy sparks a local parenting coalition called the 4-6-3 Foundation, dedicated to Liam’s love of baseball. A big part of this is encouraging parents to talk about mental health with their children.

“Let this conversation begin, there is this awareness,” urged Elizabeth Medd. “Let’s get this conversation going and make it something that is present in every household.”

You are working with the Dakota Medical Foundation, in part on a survey that asked health care providers and parents how the children and youth in our community are doing.

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“It really affected our kids,” said Todd Medd. “Unfortunately, I think we don’t yet know exactly what these effects are.”

DMF interviewed 313 organizations and providers as well as 161 parents. The survey reports that at least 84% of responding organizations say their mental health problems are higher. About 61% say self-harm is increasing, with some parents agreeing.

The vast majority believe that there are no adequate services and support for adolescents facing mental health problems. To make matters worse, many responding organizations say that physical and sexual abuse is also increasing.

They hope this will raise more people’s awareness and open the doors to talk to children about the serious issue of mental health.

If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide, call FirstLink at 211.

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