This op-ed was originally published in The Hill.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently issued an advisory, “Protecting Youth Mental Health,” which paints a stark picture. Symptoms of depression and anxiety in youths have doubled during the pandemic, with 25 percent of youths experiencing depressive symptoms and 20 percent experiencing anxiety symptoms. Suicide attempts were up 51 percent for adolescent girls and 4 percent higher for adolescent boys compared with the same period in early 2019.
Children’s mental health is at a crisis point. That is why it is both puzzling and concerning that the current controversy surrounding critical race theory and its contested role in the classroom is leading some to cast suspicion on, of all things, mental health programs in schools. In particular, there has been opposition to programs known as social-emotional learning, mischaracterizing them as “Trojan horses” being used to introduce critical race theory ideology into the classroom. A recent article in Education Week documented this new trend.
Read the full article here.