More than a quarter of parents say their child has required mental health services during the pandemic.

The nation’s largest pediatric health organizations declared children’s mental health a public heath crisis last fall. Now, we’re seeing the real world consequences. A nationally representative report from the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital reveals the devastating numbers.

More than 25% of parents said their child has seen a mental health specialist during the pandemic. As mandates drag on, the outlook has gotten worse: 60% of those visits have taken place in the past year as schools delayed reopening and kept strict mask and activity restrictions in place.

Even young children were affected. Emergency room visits for mental health emergencies among kids aged just 5-11 increased by 24%. Emergency visits increased 31% for children aged 12-17.

“The pandemic caused significant stress and social disruption for kids that likely exacerbated these problems, as we’re seeing a growing number of young people face mental health concerns,” pediatrician Gary L. Freed said.

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