As schools prepare for students to return to classrooms next month, a new report released by Mental Health America finds the overwhelming majority of states are unprepared to address the current youth mental health crisis in schools.

Indicators of youth mental health and well-being indicate a growing public health crisis that has only been worsened by COVID-19. Yet, public policy has been slow to respond at the state and national levels. This report seeks to document the alarming trends in youth mental health and the disparities in access to care. The report then addresses several innovative state legislative solutions to promote school-based mental health education, supports, and services. The report also highlights the effect of these policies on advancing equity and the role of youth leadership in securing legislation. The information is designed to guide advocacy at the state level and begin to create a framework for federal policy.

May be an image of text May be an image of text
May be an image of text that says 'YOUTH LEADERSHIP HAS PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN DEVELOPING AND PASSING LEGISLATION Youth in Oregon led the effort to enact excused absences for mental health with assistance from for Providence Health and Services. Youth leaders were responsible for the Virginia education law. They drafted the statute, secured prominent sponsor, and advocated for passage of the bill. Youth New York received training their government class and advocated for mental health education in schools by reaching out their legislators and telling their stories. MHA Mental Health America' May be an image of text

View the report from Mental Health America