When it comes to helping youth in crisis, we often see a myriad of solutions. From prevention programs to community outreach efforts, there is a solution to every adolescent crisis. While many solutions address the symptoms, others tackle the root cause of the problem. This report examines the role of youth-directed community outreach programs to help youth in crisis. It also outlines the steps to take to help these children. Unfortunately, many youth suffer the consequences of their own choices.
Disenchanted youth are especially striking in the developing world. Many live on the margins of society, eking out a meager living through the black market. Many are at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other diseases that are not directly preventable. They often lack the basic skills to contribute to society. And, because they aren’t allowed to participate in economic activities, many youth turn to violence. In addition to violent extremism, youth in poverty are prone to sexual exploitation.
Armed conflict is one of the leading causes of death among youth and young adults. In countries affected by armed conflict, youth play a crucial role in civil unrest. In the past decade, over two million children have died in conflict, one million have been left orphaned, and six millions have been wounded. In less developed countries, violence and armed conflict continue to plague the lives of youth. And, the situation for the youth is only likely to worsen.
There are more signs of adolescent mental health than ever. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth. Psychiatric emergencies are reported in close to three percent of pediatric emergency department visits. Yet, few studies have addressed treatment for young people in crisis. In addition, the adolescent mental health crisis can result in suicide and other physical harm.
Parents may not realize that their kids are struggling. Some don’t even want to disclose their problems to their parents. Fear of judgment or the repercussions is a real factor for some young people. Yet, being a good role model for them can open doors to more resources. Although parents are not qualified to diagnose or treat mental health issues, they can open the door for them. A church pastor can also refer young people to mental health professionals.
Church leaders are one of the most effective resources to help youth in crisis. According to a survey conducted by Baylor University, only 26% of college and youth pastors consider themselves qualified to assist young people suffering from mental health problems. But, 8 out of 10 pastors experience youth with mental health problems on a regular basis. It is important to understand these issues and be prepared to respond to them. If you notice a problem, don’t let it become an excuse for not acting.
Youth crisis response organizations must be able to identify needs and identify gaps in the system. Their role in youth crisis response should be clearly outlined, including how many calls are received and how often they are answered. They should also be able to share data and information. This information can help families find the most appropriate resources. The more resources they can get, the better. The more effective organizations will provide the services youth in crisis need. The following are some of the resources provided by organizations that help youth in crisis.
DYCD-funded programs provide emergency shelter and crisis intervention services for youth in crisis. The goal of these programs is to reunite youth with their families or arrange appropriate placements. A trained staff at each Safe Place site connects youth in crisis with a Bridge agency. After connecting them to the appropriate service, the team works to help them navigate the system. For youth who need residential services, these agencies can provide intensive stabilization services and a safe environment.
This series of reports on the characteristics of homeless youth provides an overview of the needs, behaviors, and outcomes of youth in crisis. The reports provide accurate, reliable data to help policymakers and stakeholders address the needs of these vulnerable youth. The series will also include case studies of homeless youth. The series is produced by the Covenant House Institute in collaboration with the Center for Homelessness Prevention Studies at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The reports also provide a comprehensive picture of the youth living in homeless shelters throughout the country.