INDIANAPOLIS — More data now points to how and why children are struggling with anxiety and depression at unprecedented levels.
The 2022 KIDS COUNT Data book has ranked states in overall child well-being.
Data released this month shows that, overall, Indiana kids are more depressed and anxious than they were in 2016. Of the state's respondents, 15.9% of children ages 3-17 said "yes" when asked "has a doctor or other health care provider ever told you that had depression or anxiety problems?" That's compared to 11.7% of Indiana children and teens reported six years ago.
This isn't the first time this number has spiked in the recent years; however, it is alarming, experts say. The pandemic has no doubt played a big role in this increase, but as Tami Silverman with the Indiana Youth Institute explained, the troubling trends didn't happen overnight.
"It's partially because of de-stigmatization of accessing care," Silverman said. "We hope that as folks become more comfortable acknowledging that these are the needs for our kids, that then we can lean in and that might demonstrate some increased reporting."
The Indiana Youth Institute helps collect and interpret similar data for the annual KIDS COUNT report, which did reflect some encouraging trends for young Hoosiers.
Indiana teens are having less children, as teen birth rates are dropping across the country.
Indiana has less children living in poverty now than in 2012; that rate is down 3%.
The number of children with health insurance saw a significant increase from 91% to 94%, just shy of the national average of 95%.
You can read more on where Indiana children rank in other areas, such as education and economic well-being, at this link.