GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

2020 Annual Children’s Mental Health report, child abuse claims down

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GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- The 2020 Children’s Mental Health report has been released and there are promising improvements, while also highlighting areas that need improvement.

The 20 page report says that in 2020, there was a strategic plan to increase the effectiveness of the focus on the lifespan of a child. There were listening sessions conducted in Wausau and La Crosse Wisconsin. At those sessions, grade school kids had the opportunity to explain their roles on topics like social-emotional learning through interactions like playground disputes.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit Wisconsin hard in March, which lead to schools, various businesses, and theme parks to completely shut down. Students transitioned to virtual learning for several months as School Districts and Government tried to figure out the best course of action. “What we do know is that if children are supported by caring adults, who have the tools to work with them, there is a very good possibility that they will come out of the pandemic actually stronger and more confident than they were before,” said Linda Hill, Director of Children’s Mental Health Wisconsin. Hill says that the new report does not specifically include the effects that the pandemic has had on children, there could be a direct correlation between that and mental health.

The report also indicates that there is a sharp increase in seniors graduating high school. Reports of teenage pregnancy are also lower. Another area that has seen a decline is reports of child abuse. Those reports usually are made by students to their teachers. Most schools have been virtual learning and that could be a contribution to the lower numbers. “We can’t say for sure that it is because students are not physically going to school, but the numbers are down,” said Hall.

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For more information on the 2020 Annual Children’s Mental Health report, visit children.wi.gov.

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