The mental health of youth is facing one of the greatest challenges of our time. As the COVID pandemic has shown, suicide is now the second leading cause of death among youth. Nearly 3% of pediatric emergency room visits involve young people in psychiatric crisis. Sadly, little research exists to describe how to best help youth in crisis. But, there are ways to prevent youth from developing a mental health crisis. Here are some tips.
Disenchanted youth are especially prevalent in the developing world, where millions of young people struggle to make ends meet. They live on the margins of society, eking out an existence on the black market. In many countries, youth are at risk of contracting diseases like HIV/AIDS. As a result, their needs and aspirations aren’t being met. This problem has global implications. The UN has recognized the critical role of youth in conflict and armed violence.
In many places, there is a pressing need to combat the rising number of youth and improve their lives. In many cases, these youth face a crisis of identity, with violent crime and political instability causing great distress. Youth in poverty often lack the skills to contribute to society, and the ranks of low-paid workers continue to swell. The future of this generation and the generations to follow depends on how these countries deal with the increasing demands of their growing population.
In order to combat this growing issue, the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) has a number of programs available to help youth in crisis. The National Runaway Safeline serves 70% of youth who are preparing to run away from home. 33% of youth contacting the NRS cite family dynamics as their primary reason for reaching out to them. In the last five years, the number of youth reporting experiencing abuse and neglect has increased exponentially.
The National Association of Mental Health Commissioners (NAMHCP) is an organization of state mental health commissioners. It works with federal partners and stakeholders to increase the wellbeing of children and youth. The mission of the association is to promote recovery and wellness for people with mental health conditions and to help families and communities cope with these challenges. This organization provides resources and guidance to support the efforts of child mental health workers. It also provides information about how community outreach programs can help children and adolescents recover from their problems.
The US federal government has 50+ programs dedicated to the protection and well-being of youth. Unfortunately, the federal government does not provide much information about youth voice and empowerment. However, the administration for Children and Families and Children’s Bureau provide substantial information on these issues. The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to child protection resources, connects professionals with resources, and promotes safety and wellbeing for children. These efforts are essential in making communities safer and healthier for youth.
While the National Association of County and City Health Officials does not provide information about the voice of youth, the World Bank’s report on children and youth in crisis provides information on many organizations that offer services and support to children and families in need. This report was aimed at improving the lives of children and families who are struggling with mental health. If you’re a parent looking for a safe place to turn, consider contacting your child’s school.
Behavioral health crises often lead to involvement in the system and admission to a residential treatment facility. This type of treatment may help youth avoid incarceration and arrest. Fortunately, home resources can help. Additionally, there’s a crisis phone line for parents. In addition to residential treatment, peer crisis services are also available in many communities. The telephone support and referral services offered by these agencies will allow parents and youth to get the help they need at the moment.