COVID-19 intensified the mental health crisis that was already afflicting millions of Americans prior to the pandemic. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 53 percent of U.S. adults reported that their mental health had been negatively impacted by the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also found that nearly 3 million children have been diagnosed with a serious emotional or behavioral health condition during the pandemic and that U.S. hospitals saw a 31% increase in the proportion of mental health emergency visits for children ages 12 to 17 from April to October 2020.
These numbers reflect the fact that disruptions to daily life due to COVID-19 have been especially overwhelming for adolescents during a time that can already be challenging. The combined impact of social isolation, anxiety about contracting Covid-19, and anxiety about the uncertain future is scary – and even profound at a time when teens are supposed to be spending time with friends and discovering their identities apart from the family unit. It’s also critical to note that one year is one-fifteenth of a 15-year-old’s life – and represents 25% of the high school they experience they are missing – which makes the lost time seem more daunting and even hopeless for teens.
That’s why we’re so pleased that Freespira, the only FDA-cleared digital therapeutic proven to significantly reduce or eliminate panic attacks and PTSD symptoms in just 28 days, is now available to adolescents.* As an alternative to medications and talk therapy, Freespira is unique in its approach to addressing the underlying causes of panic disorder and PTSD symptoms by addressing physiological causes of hypersensitivity to carbon dioxide and related breathing irregularities.
Freespira’s at-home, twice daily, 17-minute treatments normalize breathing patterns and include telehealth coaching services throughout the 28-day treatment protocol to guide the patient to maximum benefit. With Freespira, adolescents can develop self-management skills that are learned and then available via ‘muscle memory’ long after the formal treatment has ended.
To learn more about Freespira for adolescents and how it can help, continue reading HERE.
*Freespira is indicated (FDA-cleared) as an adjunctive treatment of symptoms associated with panic disorder, panic attacks and/or PTSD in patients 18 and older. In younger patients Freespira has been evaluated and is being made available as permitted by FDA’s COVID-19 Enforcement Discretion Guidance.