The COVID pandemic has been hell on small businesses, families and the more than 400,000 Americans who’ve lost their lives from coronavirus-related illness.
The pandemic has also taken a massive toll on mental health. Loneliness and isolation has hit people hard, especially in states with harsher quarantine rules.
People confined to their homes have experienced increased depression, anxiety and lack of purpose.
This is also true for the younger generation, with young students becoming increasingly lonely and depressed.
Now Clark County, Nevada is trying to open schools as soon as possible after an alarming spike in student suicide and suicide attempts.
Las Vegas Suicide Epidemic
Clark County – which includes Las Vegas – has had a huge rise in student suicides and suicide attempts. Schools have been closed since March and in that time more than 3,100 students have said they are feeling suicidal or reached out for help because they are worried they could harm themselves.
Already by last month 18 students in the Clark County district have ended their lives.
Now the school district said it’s working to open up as soon as possible, with the school board authorizing a reopening of elementary schools. COVID is still wreaking havoc around Clark County and Las Vegas, but the mortality rate among children and teens is very low and is now being balanced with the fact that students are dying from loneliness and the seemingly permanent lockdowns.
“When we started to see the uptick in children taking their lives, we knew it wasn’t just the Covid numbers we need to look at anymore. We have to find a way to put our hands on our kids, to see them, to look at them. They’ve got to start seeing some movement, some hope,” said Clark County superintendent Jesus Jara.
We threw out every single thing we know about human nature in order to fight COVID and this is where it led us. Pieces like this crush me because it was so, so obvious this would happen. I could have predicted this piece in May. https://t.co/RGqLVKG99l
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) January 24, 2021
A Rising Youth Crisis
Although staying home from school can seem great at first, for many kids and young teens it can become very depressing after many months of not seeing friends or having much direction in life.
Calls to helplines and those having mental health crises have gone up dramatically during the pandemic, although many people have avoided going to the emergency room because hospitals are overrun by COVID.
In other words you lock people down and drive them to crisis but then stop them getting emergency medical attention because of the thing they were locked down to stop. Sounds like a bit of a trap, right?
In Clark County they have lost students who had their whole lives ahead of them including a 9-year-old boy who left a note saying there was nothing left to look forward to. This is a crime against kids.
And it’s happening all across America.
Kids are Killing Themselves
Brad Hunstable lost his 12-year-old son Hayden to suicide in April and made a viral video about what happened saying his son died from the lockdowns. Hayden hanged himself just days before he would have turned thirteen.
An 11-year-old boy shot himself during zoom class, while a Maine teen killed himself recently from loneliness and no longer having sports to look forward to, catching his parents completely off guard.
“We knew he was upset because he was no longer able to participate in his school activities, football. We never guessed it was this bad,” his dad said.
Youth suicide has already being going up steadily for over a decade and is the second cause of death for young people after car accidents. It is clear that something is very wrong in this nation that started long before the pandemic, but the pandemic and lockdowns are making it worse.
If you or someone you know needs help call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255.