Mental health is increasingly recognized as vital to our overall health and wellbeing. Yet, despite growing awareness, the mental health crisis persists, affecting millions. At the Children’s Mental Health Matters (CMHM) Campaign, we’re working to prioritize and address the needs of children and families with compassion, urgency, and effective interventions, standing out as a beacon of hope and support.   

Partnering for Progress

We do not do this important work alone. Our mission is driven forward by our invaluable partners, who help us reach wider audiences and create lasting change. We are excited to spotlight our partnership with Backpack Healthcare!

In 2020, during the worldwide pandemic, Backpack Healthcare’s CEO Hafeezah’s six-year-old son, desperately needed mental health services, and she struggled to find a provider that accepted Medicaid. After learning that over 42M children are on Medicaid, over 20M are struggling with mental health symptoms, and only 14% of mental health providers accept Medicaid patients, Hafeezah’s mission was born.

In 2021, she founded Backpack Healthcare (formerly Youme Healthcare) to solve the children’s mental health epidemic. Backpack Healthcare aims to provide personalized, accessible, and inclusive mental health care to the most vulnerable and underserved children nationwide. Their compassionate approach reflects the emotional intelligence their expert team has cultivated and the experiential and intellectual methods they’ve crafted to provide families with practical support and emotional care they can rely on.

“We are excited to have Backpack join us in this vital initiative that will shape the future of how our communities view children’s mental wellbeing.” Heidi Rochon, Chief Program Officer at the Mental Health Association of Maryland, also had this to say about the partnership, “We are extremely grateful to be included as a member of Hafeezah’s tribe, using lived experiences to make change in how families are served.”

Celebrating Mental Health Awareness

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we hosted our first collective webinar, “The Resilient Mindset.” This session delved into the concept of resilience and its critical role in navigating life’s challenges. Participants explored how resilience benefits parents and partners, equipping them with tools to manage stress, maintain healthy communication, and model resilience for their loved ones. The webinar was a success, highlighting the importance of resilience and the power of collaborative efforts in mental health education.

“Our partnership with the Children’s Mental Health Matters Campaign is a crucial step in our mission to make mental health care more accessible and inclusive for children,” said Jenny Ryan, Chief Clinical Officer at Backpack Healthcare. “We are especially excited about our collaboration on the Children’s Mental Health Webinar Series and the opportunity to host the webinar, ‘The Resilient Mindset.’ By joining forces, we can ensure that every child has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their background or circumstances.”

To ensure our resources are accessible to all, a recording of “The Resilient Mindset” is available for on-demand viewing, along with past webinars from the CMHM Campaign’s monthly Children’s Mental Health Webinar Series.

Upcoming Webinar: The Rainbow Connection

We are thrilled to announce our next webinar, “The Rainbow Connection,” scheduled to take place during LGBTQ Pride Month. This session will focus on supporting LGBTQIA+ youth by ensuring they have access to inclusive, affirming, and safe environments. Parents and community members will learn how to create spaces where children feel accepted, respected, and free to express their authentic selves.

By surrounding LGBTQIA+ youth with understanding and advocacy, we can help them thrive. Don’t miss this important opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of LGBTQIA+ children and adolescents. Registration details can be found here. 

Looking Ahead

Our partnership with Backpack Healthcare has already made significant strides in promoting children’s mental health. We look forward to the future of Backpack Healthcare in Maryland and our long partnership! Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter to stay updated on upcoming events and initiatives.

From the success of “The Resilient Mindset” webinar to the anticipation of “The Rainbow Connection,” we are committed to providing valuable resources and support to our community. Join us in our mission to prioritize mental health awareness and public education, ensuring a brighter, healthier future for all children and families. Together, we can make a difference.


Backpack Healthcare is a sponsor of the Children’s Mental Health Matters Campaign.