Aug 16, 2022 - News

Utah children were getting less depressed before the COVID pandemic

Data: Annie E. Casey Foundation; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Utah was one of the few states where kids' rates of depression and anxiety have dropped from 2016 to 2020, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Why it matters: In 2016, Utah kids ages 3–17 had the nation's fifth-highest rate of anxiety and depression.

By the numbers: Utah's rates dropped .2% from 2016 to 2020.

  • Only eight other states saw a decline during that time.

Yes, but: More than 13% of Utah kids experienced anxiety or depression in 2020 — above the national average of about 12%.

Meanwhile: More recent state data show a third of Utah's middle and high schoolers said they felt sad or hopeless in 2021, a sharply-rising trend in the state.

  • Self-harm and thoughts of suicide also rose from 2017 to 2021.

The big picture: Anxiety and depression in American children rose across most of the nation in the period leading up to the onset of the pandemic, Axios' Tina Reed writes.

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