EL PASO, Texas -- Many experts are sounding the alarm about a mental health crisis in kids and teens. Not only are they grappling with another mass shooting, they've also had to deal with the pandemic for more than two years now.
A high school counselor told ABC-7 throughout the school year she's seen an increase in student asking for assistance for themselves and even their families.
"It's just really just dependent on what their family situation is," said Pat Villarreal, a counselor at San Elizario High School "Some of them have had loss, not only death, but even employment. There's just so many factors (they're) affected by."
Villarreal said she went from seeing about two to three students per week to as many as four or more a day. Many students have been dealing with stress and anxiety, most of which stems from the pandemic.
"It's hard to say like, is it getting worse, because there's a lot of people now knowing that there are so many avenues for them to go and get help," Villarreal said. "Maybe it's kind of a combination of both that there's a bigger need, but then (students are) also more open to receiving the help and asking for the help.
Just a few months ago, national experts raised concern declaring a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health.
Villarreal suggests asking your children open ended questions to get a sense of what's going on in your child's life.
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