Nationwide Children’s Mental Health Survey Finds Disturbing Increase in Suicidal Thoughts and Self-Harm Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic

Nearly half of parents report their children have experienced increased anxiety or have lost friendships; sleep and eating disorders more than double

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A national survey of parents conducted by Elemy ( the nationwide provider of childhood behavioral and mental healthcare, revealed deeply concerning impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on childhood mental health. Most importantly, results showed that suicidal ideation, self-harm and anxiety are very prominent in post-pandemic children today.

The survey of 1,028 parents of children under age 18 conducted in April 2022 is the first survey that takes a comprehensive look at how the pandemic continues to affect children’s mental health.

“This is the most disturbing existential change in childhood mental health that I’ve witnessed in more than 15 years practicing pediatric behavioral care,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Flood, licensed child psychologist and Clinical Director of Psychology, Elemy. “We have a clear childhood mental health crisis happening in the U.S. right now. Whether or not the pandemic has raised parent awareness of issues like suicidal thoughts and social anxiety, it’s clear that we need to immediately take action to address this societal problem and help our children.”

Childhood Mental Health Survey results:

  • Suicide and self-harm is prevelant. 26% of parents report their children admitted to being suicidal while 20% report that their children engage in self-harm
  • Kids are losing their friendships, too. 42% of parents report their children have lost friendships during the pandemic.
  • Anxiety is tied to social gatherings. 47% of parents report an increase in their child’s anxiety as a result of interacting in large social gatherings.
  • Sleep and eating disorders have more than doubled. 20% of children have experienced sleep disorders and 17% have developed eating disorders compared to 9.3% and 7% respectively pre-pandemic.
  • The kids are not OK. 42% of surveyed parents report their children seem unhappier than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A family’s financial situation plays a part. Parents with an annual income of less than $50,000 per year were 30% more likely to report having a child who admitted to feeling suicidal compared to parents who reported incomes more than $50,000.

According to the CDC, from March 2020 to October 2020, mental health-related emergency department visits increased 24% for children ages 5 to 11 and 31% for those ages 12 to 17 compared with 2019 emergency department visits. The childhood mental health crisis was deemed a national emergency in October 2021.

About Elemy

Elemy is a nationwide provider of childhood behavioral and mental healthcare. Our world-class clinical team and industry-first technology work together to transform today’s inefficient system plagued by long waits, fragmented care, and poor long-term outcomes. Elemy launched childhood autism care in April 2020 and has grown to support behavior, mood, anxiety, and developmental disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, and more. Elemy is well-funded by some of the best venture capital and healthcare investors including General Catalyst, SoftBank, Founders Fund, and more. To learn more, please visit


For press inquiries:
Amanda Taggart

Chief Communications Officer, Elemy