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State officials discuss mental health and COVID-19

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TUCSON (KVOA) - State officials gave an update on Arizona schools and COVID-19 Monday.

In the briefing, Dr. Cara Christ said Arizona schools have a critical need for mental health services.

During the most recent youth risk behavior survey, over 40% of high school students say they have stopped normal activities during the pandemic because they are not happy.

To combat mental health issues alongside COVID-19, the health department is launching a new campaign called "Healthy Kids Open School."

"While Arizona has prioritized suicide prevention strategies over the past few years, we can see that the impact of COVID-19 makes it more important than ever and while it's important to stay physically distanced, it's important to stay socially connected," Dr. Christ said.

In a 2019 report, studies showed there were 38 suicides for kids under the age of 17.

In 2020 alone, Arizona has surpassed that number with 43 suicides in the same age range.

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