Virtual Youth Mental Health Conference
On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania hosted its annual Child, Adolescent, and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference. Nearly 200 people from ten states attended this year’s virtual event, Youth in Crisis: A Call for Action.
The conference educated participants on the most pressing problems facing our youth and provided an action plan to help transform caregivers, educators, mental health professionals, legislators, and community leaders into mental health changemakers.
The conference included a keynote speaker, panel discussion, workshops, virtual exhibitor resources, and Continuing Education Credits and Act 48 Credits were available.
Nation on Notice: The Youth Mental Health Crisis
Dr. Ala Stanford, Region 3 Director, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
In March of 2020, President Biden spoke to the nation and gave an unmistakable message to us all, addressing the behavioral health crisis is a matter of national importance, and it’s a matter that we can all unite behind irrespective of our political or philosophical beliefs. The truth of the matter is that our country faces an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages, but especially among young people. One in 6 U.S. youth between the ages of 6–17 experience a mental health disorder each year and in Pennsylvania, 98,000 youth in the 12–17 age group have depression. Of those young people, 57% have not received any care in the last year. And black and brown communities are disproportionately undertreated.
An inadequate mental health system affects individuals, families, and communities. The Biden-Harris Administration has announced efforts to combat mental illness and has outlined a strategy to address the crisis, including the problems facing our young people. In this presentation, Dr. Stanford will provide highlights of the administration’s plans and the impact they can have on Pennsylvania youth.
Answering the Cry for Help: The Role Adults Play in Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis
Moderator: Charma D. Dudley, PhD, FPPR, Associate Director of Behavioral Health Service at Beacon Health Options
- Christine M. Crawford, MD, MPH, Associate Medical Director, NAMI
- Tami Benton, MD, Psychiatrist-in-Chief and Chair of Psychiatry at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
- Jim Sharp, Director, Children’s Division, RCPA
- Dana Milakovic, PsyD, NCSP, Mental Wellness and Trauma Specialist, Office for Safe Schools, PA Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Luna Plaza, Youth Mental Health Advocate
In 2021, emergency department visits in the United States for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls. In that same year, 54% of working parents reported seeking professional help for concerns related to their child’s emotional health and development or behavior.
There is no shortage of statistics showing how severe this problem has become. But beyond the numbers, there are young people with personal stories. And there are families, educators, and mental health professionals who have seen firsthand the struggles that youth are having with their mental wellness and the impact it’s having on them at home and at school.
But loved ones and experts on the frontlines also know these challenges can be overcome. It’s not too late to take action. In order to turn the curve, we need a bold and comprehensive action plan that addresses awareness, prevention, and research, and reaches the many different youth populations that are each uniquely affected based on their background and experiences.
In this panel discussion, Answering the Cry for Help: The Role Adults Play in Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis, experts will outline what is working in the field and in schools, where we are falling short, and what all of us can do to stem the tide of rising mental health challenges in young people.
NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s Child, Adolescent, and Transition Age Youth Mental Health Conference is an annual event. For information on sponsoring, exhibiting, or placing an ad for the 2023 conference, contact Sara Levine Steinberg at email@example.com.