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Children’s Hospitals Grapple With Wave of Mental Illness

By Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, Kaiser Health News

Krissy Williams, 15, had attempted suicide before.

The teen was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 9. People with this chronic mental health condition perceive reality differently and often experience hallucinations and delusions. She learned to manage these symptoms with a variety of services offered at home and at school.

But the pandemic upended those lifelines. She lost much of the support offered at school. She also lost regular contact with her peers. Her mother lost access to respite care — which allowed her to take a break.

On a Thursday in October, the isolation and sadness came to a head. As Krissy’s mother, Patricia Williams, called a mental crisis hotline for help, Krissy

liking child suicide

Kaiser Health News Carmen Heredia Rodriguez Patricia Williams Krissy Williams

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