Support Mental Health Access for Children & Youth in the U.S.

On 2 April 2020, Yolanda, 9, participates in one of her first virtual classes while studying from home in New York City. It is the first time Yolanda has been able to see her teachers and classmates since in-person classes were stopped.
United States
© UNICEF/UNI320494/Elias

Globally, children’s mental health is under attack by COVID-19. In the United States, students were experiencing widespread mental health distress before COVID-19: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death among children and adolescents ages 13 to 19 — and the leading cause of death among 13-year-olds. The escalating mental health concerns led the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) to declare a National State of Emergency in Children’s Mental Health.

Now more than ever, we need to ensure every child has access to mental health services, particularly the most vulnerable including LGBTQ, Black and indigenous children, children of color and children with disabilities.

We need your help to ensure mental health care is available and accessible to every child who needs it. Several bills has been introduced in Congress to invest in the mental health needs of children and youth in the U.S.:

  • The Mental Health Services for Students Act (S.1841): legislation that would provide grant funding for schools to provide on-site, culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services for students.
  • Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act (S.1781): first comprehensive federal legislation to address increasing suicide rates and mental health disorders among Black youth.

Both pieces of legislation have passed the House. Now, it’s time for the Senate to act. Contact your Senators and urge them to cosponsor and pass these bills!

 

Want to do more? Contact Congress to prioritize mental health in U.S. foreign assistance. Take Action
 

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