The global COVID-19 pandemic has swept through communities of color at alarming and disproportionate rates. The ensuing school closures, social isolation and dramatically reduced access to services and care, combined with the overall threat of the virus, have contributed to the alarming mental health trends for young people. Children’s distress, especially that of children of color, has also been intensified as public attention turned to the historical and ongoing racial injustice that resulted in protests across the country in the summer of 2020.
California has experienced one of the greatest declines in children’s mental health services during the pandemic (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2020), accelerating the decline in children’s mental health care since 2016 that placed California as 48th in the nation for children with an unmet mental health need (30 percent) compared to the national best of only 5 percent in 2018 (Commonwealth Fund, 2020).
Read our latest fact sheet that includes a snapshot of the mental health crisis since the pandemic began.