(INDIANAPOLIS) – Hoosier kids felt economic and health side effects from the pandemic.
The Indiana Youth Institute’s annual “Kids Count” data book compiles dozens of measures of kids’ well-being. The latest edition features data from 2020, making it the first compilation to look at data from the first 10 months of the pandemic. The institute finds a higher percentage of kids in poverty or with food insecurity, and higher rates of anxiety.
President Tami Silverman says pandemic isolation didn’t cause those problems, but worsened issues that already existed. Although schools are open again, she cautions it’ll take time to rebuild in those areas after months without the social interactions she says are essential.
The institute says students whose schools offer mental health counseling did better with those issues, including anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. In some counties, the school is the only place to get those services.
The 240-page report compiles data from a variety of sources on health, economics and education.