One out of 10 Louisiana children suffer from depression or anxiety according to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

How Is This Defined?

The numbers are determined based on the percentage of children ages 3 to 17 who have ever been diagnosed with or reported to have anxiety or depression by a doctor or health care provider.

The Annie Casey Foundation says these numbers from across the nation “show the extraordinary toll the mental health pandemic has had on children. Data from 2016 and 2020 indicate children across the nation and in most states were more likely to deal with anxiety or depression during the first year of the pandemic than previously, though more research is required to understand the large variation across states.”

How Many Children in the U.S. Have Anxiety or Depression?

The report says overall across the country, the number of kids ages 3 to 17 struggling with these issues jumped by more than 1.5 million, from 5.8 million to 7.3 million (or roughly 9% to 12%).

Louisiana Is One of the Better Performing States

Louisiana is actually one of only a handful of states where the numbers of children dealing with anxiety or depression is getting better. In 2016, 11% of Louisiana children suffered. That percentage is down to 10.1% for 2020. Only 8 other states also showed improvement on this front.

The Bayou State does show some progress, but child advocates says more must be done to protect the health of children. The 2022 Kids Count Data Book suggests much more must be done to protect child health and well-being.

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