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.