While the COVID-19 public health threat has diminished in recent months, a corresponding mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic shows no signs of waning. Last year, more New Jersey teenagers sought emergency medical care for anxiety and depression than in prior years, with Hackensack University Medical Center reporting a nearly 50 percent increase in pediatric emergency room psychiatry consultations.

Joshua Langberg, director of the Center for Youth Social Emotional Wellness at the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, is working directly with young people to develop solutions. One of those young people, 18-year-old Nez Venturelli, is sharing their experience to help strengthen the state’s youth mental health services. To read the full story.