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Florida kids increasingly struggle with mental health

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

More Florida kids are struggling with their mental health according to a new Annie E. Casey Foundation report released Monday.

The Kids Count 2022 report looked at the well-being of children and families across all 50 states, by considering a number of factors including education and health.

For the first year ever, the report factored children’s mental health into the equation.

Florida Policy Institute’s Norín Dollard says the report showed a 20 percent increase in the number of kids in the state treated for mental health problems in 2020 compared to in 2016.

“They need access to mental health services. They need to know they’re in safe and supportive environments to really grow and thrive.”

Dollard says the report noted that Native American kids, along with children who are mixed race or LGBTQ struggled the most to receive mental health care.

“Definitely those are things that we should be concerned about and having access to health insurance would certainly help with that.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-led legislature have repeatedly chosen not to expand Medicaid coverage which would help working-class families get care. 

Read the full reporthere.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys playing her guitar, writing fiction, and cooking.