The mental health of America’s teenagers is on the decline, as Generation Z faces a global pandemic and epidemic of gun violence in the United States. While overall rates of anxiety and depression stayed relatively stable in the first year of the pandemic – from 15% in 2019 to 16% in 2020 – drug overdose deaths and self-harm incidents increased, according to a new briefing from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Drug overdose deaths among youth aged 12 to 17 years old nearly doubled from 282 in 2019 to 546 in 2020. The report found death by suicide has increased by 62% from 2010 to 2020, with American Indian and Alaska Natives teens three times as likely to die by suicide than their white peers. Female teenagers were four times as likely to self-harm in 2020, while male teens were twice as likely to die by suicide.

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