CDC Study: Remote Learning Hurt Kids’ Mental Health

When schools pivoted to remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the first casualty was kids’ mental health.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed teenagers’ mental health from January 2021 to June 2021. Compared with 2019, the study found that the proportion of mental health–related emergency department visits in 2020 increased by about 31% among kids aged 12–17 years.

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Michigan Joins Bipartisan Investigation into Social Media App TikTok

Michigan’s Secretary of State Thursday announced that the state will join a bipartisan investigation into popular Chinese-owned social media company TikTok.

“Recent reports on social media’s impact on the mental and physical health of young people raise serious questions among attorneys general across the nation. Ultimately, we are concerned about protecting our youth,” Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said in a press release. “I am proud to join my colleagues in this investigation. Given this is an ongoing investigation, I will not be discussing any details beyond this announcement.” 

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Connecticut Governor’s Lifting of School Mask Mandate Depends on Legislature Voting to Extend His Emergency Powers

Connecticut children cannot be certain they can finally be free of wearing masks in school since, although Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said he would end the state school mask mandate by February 28, that plan may depend on the legislature voting to extend his pandemic emergency powers, and then on individual school districts.

In his State of the State address Wednesday, Lamont told residents he will roll back some coronavirus restrictions, including the school mask mandate, adding, “You have earned this freedom.”

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Commentary: Democrats Want to Destroy Your Children

No, this is not another Qanon or Pizzagate conspiracy theory. It’s a sober recitation of the facts and incidents that can support no other conclusion.

Let’s start with one important stage-setting fact: According to OpenSecrets.org two organizations account for practically all of the contributions made by teachers unions: The National Education Association (about $20 million in 2016) and the American Federation of Teachers (almost $12 million). Both groups — which compete for members, but also collaborate with each other through the NEA-AFT Partnership — are consistently among the organizations that contribute the most money to candidates and political groups. From 2004 to 2016, their donations grew from $4.3 million to more than $32 million — an all-time high.

Even more than most labor unions, they have little use for Republicans, giving Democrats at least 94 percent of the funds they contributed to candidates and parties since as far back as 1990, where the Open Secrets’ data begins. Go here for a detailed breakdown of teachers union political giving.

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Commentary: Redditors Flock, Amplify ‘Antiwork’ Movement

When it comes to blaming the masses, no one seems to take the fall more than young people: Weird food trends, the “baby bust,” and now, a labor shortage all seem to be attributed to Millennials and Gen Z. Now, following “The Great Resignation” comes a new phrase, “antiwork.” It’s a movement pointing out the flaws in work and employment. The subreddit grew from 76,000 to 1,019,000 subscribers from January 2020 to November 2021, according to Vice. And they planned a “Blackout Black Friday” strike. So, what’s this movement, and how far will it go?

What is antiwork?

This isn’t simply a lazy act of defiance. The antiwork movement has to do with burnout, mental health, wages, benefits, employer treatment, and many other factors. The pandemic saw many people working themselves to the bone but for low pay under toxic management. Then came The Great Resignation, where millions voluntarily left their jobs. Nearly 40% of those were service jobs— restaurant, hotel, bar, and health care workers, and others—also known as those who are famously underpaid. Now, employees from nearly every workforce sector in the U.S. are coming forward to expose poor treatment and overworking, among other issues.

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Apple Reportedly Developing iPhone Technology That Knows When You’re Depressed

Person holding an iPhone

Apple is reportedly working on iPhone technology capable of detecting and diagnosing depression, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The tech giant is developing the iPhone features to reliably detect and diagnose depression as well as cognitive decline, people familiar with the matter told the WSJ. The technology is being developed in partnership with researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and pharmaceutical company Biogen.

The technology is in its early stages of development, according to the WSJ, but will collect data on iPhone users’ mobility and sleep patterns, physical activity, and other behaviors. However, researchers are still unsure whether they can create algorithms that reliably detect the mental health state of users.

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Kids’ Suicide, Mental Health Hospitalizations Spiked Amid COVID Lockdowns, Research Finds

Girl with blonde hair, covering her face with her hands

COVID-19 policies had disastrous results on children, especially in California, according to medical researchers at the University of California San Francisco.

Jeanne Noble, director of COVID response in the UCSF emergency department, is finishing an academic manuscript on the mental health toll on kids from lockdown policies. She shared a presentation on its major points with Just the News.

Suicides in the Golden State last year jumped by 24% for Californians under 18 but fell by 11% for adults, showing how children were uniquely affected by “profound social isolation and loss of essential social supports traditionally provided by in-person school,” the presentation says.

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UM: Students Reporting Huge Spike in Anxiety, Depression During COVID-19

Continuing with a national trend, a University of Michigan study found that college students reported record levels of anxiety and depression during the fall semester of the 2020 school year, during nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns. 

“The UM Healthy Minds Study, an annual web-based survey looking at mental health and service utilization among undergraduate and graduate students, found that 47% of respondents screened positive for clinically significant symptoms of depression and/or anxiety – up from 44% last year and the highest since the survey started in 2007,” according to Michigan Live.

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National Mental Health Crisis Emerges Among Youth During Pandemic Lockdowns: Reports

Children and young adults are experiencing increased mental health issues, and suicide also is on the rise within the age group at least in part because of ongoing state shutdowns, according to several reports.

Within months of governors and local authorities shuttering schools, children were increasingly brought to emergency room doctors and specialists, according to a by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Survey: Mental Health Continues to Plummet Amid Pandemic, Hits 20-Year Low

Americans’ mental health has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic as lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures remain in effect across the country, according to a survey published Monday.

Mental health is worse than any other point in the last two decades, Gallup reported on Monday. A survey conducted by Gallup showed 76% of Americans reported their mental health as either excellent or good, a decline from past surveys in which more than 80% of Americans reported positive mental health.

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Commentary: Harvard Researchers: Nearly Half of Young Adults Showing Signs of Depression Amid Pandemic

Mounting evidence shows that pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions have inflicted much more harm on younger people than the coronavirus itself. A new report reveals that nearly half of 18 to 24 year-olds are “showing at least moderate depressive symptoms,” and for many the depression is severe.

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Trump Signs Executive Order Establishing Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Saturday aimed at “saving lives” of those suffering from mental and behavioral health needs, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the executive order issued Monday morning, Trump called for more crisis-intervention services to those in “immediate life-threatening situations,” and encouraged increased availability of continuing care after crises, nurture mentorship programs, expanded availability of telehealth, and more.

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Data Shows Pandemic Contributing to Opioid Crisis, Local Health Experts Report ‘More Relapses’

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has contributed to rising drug-related deaths and the ever-worsening opioid crisis in the United States, according to health officials said local data.

Individuals battling opioid addiction have experienced increased stress due to isolation during the pandemic, according to health experts and data collected by the Wall Street Journal reported. Roughly 13% of American adults surveyed in June said they had started or increased drug use, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

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Commentary: The Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Lockdowns

The costs of the government responses to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic have been severe. New evidence suggests they could be even worse than we imagined.

An ABC affiliate in California reports that doctors at John Muir Medical Center tell them they have seen more deaths by suicide than COVID-19 during the quarantine.

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