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On Thursday, May 20, Axios health care editor Tina Reed unpacked what childhood mental health will look like after COVID-19, featuring Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Child Mind Institute founding president Harold Koplewicz.

Sen. Cortez Masto discussed the American Rescue Plan and expanding mental health access for children in Nevada, highlighting the role of schools and increasing the number of counselors.

  • On the allocation of funding for addressing students' mental health: "We need more counselors. We need to make sure we have the opportunity for schools to work with community-based programs and focus on the mental health needs of our children and their families."
  • On the longterm impacts of COVID-19 for children: "We don't know. And that's why this period of time for me is crucial. We've got the money that we we've pushed out through this COVID relief package in getting relief into our schools...Now's the time to start focusing on the mental health and well-being of our kids, not just now, but as we're opening our schools."

Harold Koplewicz unpacked how COVID-19 has affected children, spotlighting psychological loss and the rise of anxiety, and how parents can help.

  • On the state of children's mental health in the US: "1 out of 5 kids who have a mental health disorder, those are the kids who are struggling the most...The biggest switch that we've seen is that while we saw 200 kids a day in person before COVID, we're seeing 310 kids a day on a screen and 30 in person."
  • On how parents can help their kids approach any anxiety around returning to school: "Parents have to remember they are going to be scaffolds...See if we can expose [kids] to things that might make them anxious just a little and show them that they're going to be able to overcome their anxiety."

Axios Senior Vice President Jon Otto hosted a View from the Top Segment with Children’s Hospital Association president Amy Wimpey Knight discussed the consequences of the past year on children, and the need to address mental health both at home and in school.

  • "The social isolation that occurred, the family stress, the financial stress, the lack of school, the lack of structure for many of these kids, they've been significantly impacted. How we think about that now and how we think about that into the future will be incredibly important for our health system."

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free and confidential support for anyone in distress, in addition to prevention and crisis resources. Also available for online chat.

Thank you Children's Hospital Association for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Arkansas is out of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients

Source: Mercy Health spokesperson Martine Pollard on behalf of NWA hospitals; Chart: Axios Visuals

For the first time since the pandemic began, Arkansas has no available ICU beds for COVID-19 patients, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday during a news conference.

  • The state does have some ICU beds available for non-COVID patients, Health Department chief of staff Renee Mallory said. She didn't have the exact number available.
Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns — New cases down
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release COVID vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated Aug 26, 2021 - Health

The fight over mask mandates in schools turns violent

Some 30 protesters rallied outside of Hewes Middle School in Tustin, California, on Aug. 13. Photo: MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

As children head back to the classroom, a "vocal minority" in the U.S. have resorted to violence or disruptive measures to protest against mask mandates in schools.

Driving the news: While the majority of Americans support the mandates, per a recent Axios/Ipsos poll, back-to-school confrontations across the U.S. have gotten so hot that teachers and other officials have been punched, hit and screamed at.