The 21st Show

Pandemic Worsens Child Mental Health Crisis


Audra Melton/NPR

If you or someone you know may be struggling with mental health, contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889).

Nearly three million children in the U.S. are said to have a serious emotional or behavioral health condition. And for many of these kids and their families, the pandemic has ended treatments on which they depended. As a result, some have spiraled into emergency rooms and even police custody.

Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom health reporter, and Cory Turner, NPR education reporter, filed this story about the crisis: 'I've Tried Everything': Pandemic Worsens Child Mental Health Crisis.

The 21st spoke with reporters and an advocate to hear more about what experts are calling a mental health epidemic.


Christine Herman, health reporter for Illinois Newsroom/WILL 

Cory Turner, education reporter for NPR

Regina Crider, Executive Director of IL Youth and Family Peer Support Alliance


Prepared for web by Zainab Qureshi

Help shape our coverage on The 21st by joining our texting group and answering weekly questions. To join, text “TALK” to 217-803-0730 or sign up with your phone number below: