This summer, a relative reached out to me regarding the sad story of Kodie Dutcher, a 10-year-old from Baraboo, Wisconsin who was reported missing in July.
Law enforcement officials put out an Amber Alert, and a volunteer search party was organized. Kodie’s body was found the following morning—July 7, a Tuesday—near her home. Her death was ruled a suicide by the Baraboo Police Department.
Kodie’s death shook me. I grew up in a small town not far from Baraboo and know people who live there today. It occurred to me that my own little girl, whom I still think of as a baby, is roughly the same age Kodie was when she took her life.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for everyone, but evidence suggests that few demographics are suffering more than young people. Data show they’re suffering more economically, and emerging evidence shows that many are less equipped to deal with the “collateral damage” of forced lockdowns mentally.
A new report from the Wisconsin State Journal examining mental health trends in Dane County, the second most populous county in Wisconsin, shows that many are struggling to cope with the mental toll of social isolation precipitated by the economic lockdowns.