Youth and young adults are struggling. Recent years have shown increases in depression, anxiety, loneliness, and suicide among young people. In addition to limited access to health insurance and traditional mental health services, broader factors contribute to the mental health of young people, including poverty, housing and food insecurity, violence, income inequality, student loan debt, racism, transphobia, and homophobia.
What’s more, young people today are growing up in a world different from anything experienced by the generations before them. Traditional mental health services have not been able to keep up with demand and fail to comprehensively adapt, engage, and meet the growing needs of young people. We must do more. We not only need to integrate the ideas of youth and young adults into new and existing resources but also support them as leaders in addressing their peers' mental health.
Mental Health America's new (MHA) Young Mental Health Leaders Council (YMHLC) promotes young leaders and the unique ways they are driving change for their peers. YMHLC identifies young people (18-25) who have created programs and initiatives to fill gaps in mental health support and resources in their communities. YMHLC brings together young leaders from around the United States to connect and share their work and ideas with the countless advocates working to improve youth and young adult well-being around the country.
Interested in student-led mental health leadership on college campuses, check out MHA’s Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council resources and reports here.
Questions? Email Kelly Davis at email@example.com.