Missouri ranks 27th among states in the annual Child Happiness Report
Missouri (KSNF/KODE) — Children in Missouri face unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The report shows that mental health is a national concern as children feel pressured by COVID-19. Nationwide, nearly 12% of her children had an anxiety disorder or depression, compared to about 11% in Missouri.
Tracy Greever-Rice belongs to the Missouri Family and Community Trust, part of the Kids Count network. She said it’s important that children have access to mental health care.
“In metropolitan areas, mental and behavioral health professionals congregate. But in more rural areas, access becomes more difficult and affected by non-clinical things like transportation .
She added that affordable health insurance options, either through private insurance or Medicaid, are also key to ensuring access to care. do not have health insurance.
Missouri showed improvement in all economic indicators in the report, including a child poverty rate that is lower than the national average.
Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs at the Casey Foundation, said the federal government is providing assistance, including additional food assistance during the pandemic, but the assistance is likely to expire soon. I claim.
“It is very important that decision makers seize the opportunity and capitalize on the lessons learned during the COVID-19 period. We can ensure that the human needs are met and the overall well-being is ensured: more children,” said Boissiere.
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Areas considered Missouri’s “sore spots” in Kids Count data include 4th grade reading and 8th grade math proficiency, prevalence of underweight children, and overweight or obese youth. will be
Greever-Rice said these are areas where good short-term and long-term policies can make a big difference in children’s lives as they mature into adulthood.
“Paying attention to these issues can make a big difference, and prevention is not only better for individuals, but it is also a more efficient and cheaper way of public policy,” said Grieber-Rice.
Overall, Missouri ranks 27th for child happiness.