Article initiates speculation about the cause of the youth mental health crisis

A recent article outlined state and local government efforts to address the surge in mental illness among young people and investigated potential driving forces behind the crisis. In response to the article, political commentator Charlie Kirk shared a viral social media post claiming that COVID-19 lockdowns, political indoctrination in schools, economic concerns, and the availability of gender-affirming health care are to blame for rising rates of childhood anxiety and depression. Another social media user claimed that mask mandates also played a role.

Recommendation: While directly engaging with some of these specific claims is likely not warranted, online conversations about children’s mental health provide an opportunity to promote youth mental health resources. Ensuring that FAQ sheets and one-pagers are updated to include resources for parents and children—such as sliding scale therapy, support groups, and local mental health centers—is recommended.