HOUSTON (KIAH) – The second week of October is Mental Health Awareness Week. For 2022, this important week falls on October Sunday, October 2, to Saturday, October 8.

Mental health-related emergency department visits increased 24% for children ages 5 to 11 and 31% for those ages 12 to 17.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Christina Johns, a pediatrician specializing in pediatric emergency care + Senior Medical Advisor at PM Pediatric Care, the largest pediatric urgent care group in the U.S.

As a pediatric emergency physician, Dr. Johns sees patients when they are already in a mental health crisis.

“We know that as many as 30% of persons with mental health diagnoses don’t get the treatment that they need. So, we need to raise awareness about mental wellness, and so we can help people get the care that they need,” she said.

Some of the early warning signs Dr. Johns urged everyone to be on the lookout for and should make anybody dig a little deeper to understand why are:

  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • General disengagement from activities that a person used to do
  • Expressing hopelessness or a lack of a will
  • Not looking forward to the future