The Missouri Board of Education will hear a presentation on Tuesday about the state of mental health among children. Missouri Department of Mental Health Director Valerie Huhn and State Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven are on tap to present the details.

U.S. Surgeon General advisories say nearly one-third of teenagers report using social media almost constantly, with that figure doubling since 2015. According to the advisories, children and adolescents who spend more than 3 hours a day on social media face double the risk of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. The highest rates of social isolation are found among young adults, who are almost twice as likely to report feeling lonely than those over 65.

The advisories recommend steps for government to address the mental health needs of children. One recommendation the department plans to make is to create tech-free zones and encourage children to foster in-person friendships. Others include modeling responsible social media behavior, strengthening school-based mental health programs, as well as additional investment in hiring school counselors and social workers.

For more information about the presentation, click here.

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