Conference Background:

The nation is currently facing a youth mental health crisis. Over the last two decades we have witnessed alarming trends in worsening youth mental health. Recent data complied from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention painted a particularly concerning picture of high school age student mental health cutting across all youth demographic groups. Despite the alarming trend, there are a number of effective actions we can take to not just weather the current crisis but to shift to a more preventive approach that supports and sustains youth mental wellness. Bringing diverse perspectives, including hearing from youth themselves, this one-day conference will highlight key components in a comprehensive response to the youth mental health crisis, including one of the most powerful tools at our disposal: changing the way we talk about mental health – in our schools, in our families, in the workplace, in our communities. How we talk about mental health matters.

Conference Goals:

  1. Offer a forum to convene interested parties, including youth, parents and families, schools, youth serving organizations, and mental health professionals, and others with a stake in prioritizing youth mental wellness.
  2. Raise awareness among participants by providing the latest information on the main drivers of the youth mental health crisis, and, importantly, what can be done not just to withstand the immediate crisis but to fundamentally create and sustain a prevention response.
  3. Jump start activities across New York community coalitions aimed at getting us on a prevention track for youth mental wellness.

Target Audience:

Anyone with a stake in supporting youth mental health is encouraged to attend, including youth (see detailed program for youth-specific after school sessions), parents, family members, other youth caregivers, school administration and mental health counselors, youth serving mental health clinicians, suicide prevention, and advocacy organizations.