Articles and Reports
Disruptions to daily life during the pandemic, anxiety about contracting Covid-19 and social isolation are all taking a toll on children’s mental health, a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests.
Here’s a list of efforts across the country to address the lack of access to mental health treatment in the United States.
Organizations such as the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) have long advocated for school-based mental health services to address the lack of access to mental health treatment in the United States for children and youth. In a 2016 blog, the Institute of Education Sciences provided a snapshot of the PreK to 12 school-based mental health research that the National Center for Education Research (NCER) had supported up to that point.
With schools closed and uncertainty about when they will open, they are keeping an eye on these and more recent projects to see how IES-funded researchers and their school partners have addressed or are addressing mental health needs.
US National and State-Level Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders and Disparities of Mental Health Care Use in Children
In children, mental health disorders have deleterious consequences on individual and socioeconomic factors1 and can impede healthful transitioning into adulthood,2 and the incidence of mental health disorders has been increasing over the decades.3 Recent initiatives led by global and national agencies were created to identify priority focus areas regarding the mental health–related burden. Some of the emerging priorities included developing child mental health policies, implementing prevention and early intervention strategies for transition-age youth, and reducing disparities for mental health care use.4 This study sought to inform these initiatives by providing recent national and state-level estimates of the prevalence of treatable mental health disorders and mental health care use in children.
Mental Health by the Numbers (Statistics and Infographics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental illness each year. It’s important to measure how common mental illness is, so we can understand its physical, social and financial impact — and so we can show that no one is alone. These numbers are also powerful tools for raising public awareness, stigma-busting and advocating for better health care.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines mental illness as a health condition that involves “changes in emotion, thinking, or behavior—or a combination of these.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that mental health is not just the absence of mental illness. It involves a state of well-being in which people are able to cope with the normal stresses they face in daily life. Mental health allows people to recognize their own abilities, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to their communities.
Mental health refers not only to emotional well-being but also to how people think and behave. There are a number of different factors that have been found to influence mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc in the lives of the people. The fear and insecurity it has brought in its wake is not restricted to the increasing number of active reported cases and deaths, but also to the looming economic crisis and recession. Adding to this are the new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, and home schooling of children. The pandemic has forced people out of their comfort zones and impacted their emotional and mental health). And while adults may be better equipped to handle the disruptions, children have been greatly impacted.
The ADAA is a nonprofit organization that is committed to the prevention and treatment of anxiety, depressive, obsessive-compulsive, and trauma-related disorders. The ADAA strives to improve the quality of life for people living with these mental disorders by aiming to improve patient care by advocating for evidence-based treatment. They also offer education about these disorders and can help one find a therapist who specializes in their treatment. And they provide continuing education and training and help to turn research findings into practice. The ADAA aspires to find new, effective treatments with the hope of being able to prevent and cure these disorders in the future.
The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth under 25. This organization was founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award-winning short film TREVOR. The Trevor Project provides certified life-saving, life-affirming, crisis intervention services to LGBTQ youth by creating a safe, accepting, and comprehensive way to communicate via the phone, online, and through text. They also have different programs and services in suicide prevention, including free online learning modules, curriculum, and resources designed for teachers and adults who work with LGBTQ youth. Their website offers the Trevor Support Center, an area where LGBTQ youth and their friends, families, and teachers can find answers to frequently asked questions as well as explore resources related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. TrevorSpace, an LGBTQ social networking site, is also available.
Child Mind Institute
NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness
NIMH – National Institute of Mental Health
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
World Health Organization
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA)
National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHD)
National Association of Mental Health Planning and Advisory Councils (NAMHPAC)
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)
National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
Mental Health America
The Jed Foundation
Brain & Behaviour Research Foundation
Rethink Mental Illness
National Resource Center for Psychiatric Advance Directives (NRC-PAD)
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
The Trevor Project
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
International OCD Foundation (IOCDF)
American Hospital Association – https://www.aha.org/2011-02-07-national-mental-health-organizations
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
National Center for Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health – http://www.nationalcenterdvtraumamh.org/
Children’s Law Center (Anna to contact through network)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Mental Health America – www.mhanational.org
Active Minds – www.activeminds.org
Mental Health Association in Tusla – https://mhaok.org/
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Parity Implementation Coalition
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
National Institute of Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA)
American Association of Suicidology
American Psychiatric Nurses Association
National Association for Rural Mental Health
National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
National Institute on Drug Abuse
The National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
American Association of Suicidology
Bring Change to Mind (BC2M)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Schizophrenia & Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA)
Treatment Advocacy Center
National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (NFFCMH)
Charities Dedicated to Suicide Prevention
The Jed Foundation National
Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCCTS)
National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
Youth M.O.V.E. National.
Youth Mental Health Project (and Awareness Program) – https://ymhproject.org/
Young Minds Advocacy – https://www.ymadvocacy.org/