- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Mental health issues among teenagers, including incidences of self-harm and overdosing, have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study of medical reports and insurance claims.

Claims for intentional self-harm among individuals 13 to 18 years old increased almost 91% in March 2020 compared to March 2019, a report by FAIR Health found. The Northeast region recorded the highest jump in intentional self-harm claims among this age group, a nearly 334% climb last August compared to the same month in the year prior.

The report released Tuesday also found that claims for overdoses for teenagers aged 13 to 18 jumped almost 95% in March 2020 and 119% in April 2020 compared to the same months the previous year. Claims for substance use disorder increased overall among all medical claims in March 2020 by nearly 65% and close to 63% in April over the same months in 2019.

For the study, researchers analyzed FAIR Health data from more than 32 billion private health care claim records and tracked monthly changes from January to November 2020, compared to the same months from the previous year.

Mental health claims for individuals aged 13 to 18 also approximately doubled for March and April 2020 compared to the same months in 2019. A similar trend was observed for individuals aged 19 to 22, although to a lesser degree than the younger age group.

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