MHTTC School Mental Health Initiative
In late 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) declared a National State of Emergency in Children's Mental Health. In addition, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Protecting Youth Mental Health to highlight the urgent need to address the nation’s youth mental health crisis. Both the declaration from the AAP, AACP, CHA and the Surgeon General's Advisory have intensified efforts to align policymakers at all levels of government and advocates for children and adolescents to fight for stronger systems of prevention and care for our youth.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation was seeing increased rates of mental health challenges among children, adolescents, and their families, which has now only been exacerbated during the pandemic. In 2018, suicide was the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24 (NIMH, 2019). The increased proportion of Emergency Department visits related to mental health emergencies suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified this crisis (CDC, 2020). Both the Declaration, and Surgeon General's Advisory, attribute the worsening crisis to the stress brought on by COVID-19 and the ongoing struggle for racial justice that have disproportionately impacted youth of color.
Through our MHTTC School Mental Health Initiative, we are responding to the nation's youth mental health crisis by: