About 2,200 more children in Hawaii struggled with anxiety and depression in 2020 – a 23% increase compared with 2016, according to a nationwide study released Monday.
The 2022 Kids Count Data Book, which tracks state trends regarding children, found that Hawaii ranked in the lowest third of the United States when it comes to the educational (35th) and economic (34th) well-being of children, who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic because of the high unemployment in the islands at the time.
The report was issued ahead of Hawaii’s primary on Saturday, and advocates said they hoped policymakers and candidates were paying attention.
David Sun-Miyashiro, executive director of the nonprofit HawaiiKidsCan, said he wasn’t surprised at the report’s findings.
“We’re set up for a perfect storm of challenges,” Sun-Miyashiro said. “Even pre-pandemic, we weren’t necessarily doing the best in terms of taking care of our kids and families.”
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