Every day in Illinois, specialists like Sadler are called in to schools, hospitals and homes to make these decisions. They’re on the front lines of the state’s child mental health crisis. Simmering for years, it’s been supercharged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Illinois, mental-health emergency room visits by kids have spiked since 2020
Emergency room visits by children 5-17 years old indicating a diagnosis of attempted suicide, self-harm or having suicidal thoughts have increased since 2020 [with the pandemic].