WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Claire Rhyneer gave congressional lawmakers a glimpse of what it’s like to be a teen struggling with mental health.

“Each night,” the Alaska teen said, “I wondered what was wrong. And in hindsight it is terrifying to know that I was physically harming myself and still unsure if I needed help.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics said the pandemic created a mental health emergency for kids and teens.

“It used to be when we were looking at suicide statistics we would look at that 25-45 year age bracket,” Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said. “Now the alarm that we’re seeing is in 10, 11, 12 year olds.”

The pandemic disrupted young people’s routines. Dr. Mitch Prinstein with the American Psychological Association said social isolation compounded the problem.

“They’re watching relatives that are passing away or being so ill that they need to go to the hospital,” Prinstein said. “Because of the time that the kids are spending on social media instead, which we now know has incredibly dangerous effects.”

Lawmakers have passed several recent laws to try to improve access to mental health services, like the creation of a new suicide prevention hotline that will launch in July.

But experts say more resources.

Nevada Senator Jackie Rosen is working on a bill to allow the Substance Abuse Mental Service Administration to start helping schools.

Rosen said she is working on “authorizing SAMHSA to directly provide targeted and timely resources to K-12 schools.”

Lawmakers said they continue to work to ensure mental health issues are taken seriously.