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Pediatric ER admissions up 400% for mental health related issues

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente pledges to increase mental health counselors in local schools, as Dr. Christopher Lucas, Upstate’s Vice Chair for Hospital Psychiatry, reports a 400% rise in pediatric emergency room admissions for mental health issues in the past five years.

A countywide survey revealed that 37% of junior high and high school students stopped participating in activities they enjoyed, 25% felt they had no one to talk to, 22% engaged in self-harm, and 13% considered attempting suicide.


Picente plans to collaborate with local school districts to recruit and hire more mental health professionals, aiming to improve the well-being of students.

Dr. Lucas highlights that hospitals are overwhelmed, often unable to accommodate the number of children needing care, and calls for federal intervention to provide resources for mental health professionals.