WASHINGTON, DC—The Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), representing 220 children’s hospitals across the country, commends the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy’s Advisory Protecting Youth Mental Health. By working together, we can confront the crisis our nation is facing in children’s mental health.
Importantly, the Surgeon General’s Advisory states that supporting the mental health of children and youth will require a whole-of-society effort to address longstanding challenges, strengthen the resilience of young people, support their families and communities and mitigate the pandemic’s mental health impacts on kids.
“The Surgeon General’s commitment to confronting the mental health crisis in children shines a light on why we, as a nation, must take immediate and sustained action,” said Amy Wimpey Knight, president of the Children’s Hospital Association. “The advisory outlines concrete steps and actions to address this ongoing crisis for our kids. We will work alongside Dr. Murthy and other leaders to better support the mental health of our nation’s youth.”
The Surgeon General’s Advisory recommends we all:
- Recognize mental health is an essential part of overall health.
- Empower youth and their families to recognize, manage, and learn from difficult emotions.
- Ensure that every child has access to high-quality, affordable, and culturally competent mental health care.
- Support the mental health of children and youth in educational, community, and childcare settings.
- Address the economic and social barriers that contribute to poor mental health for young people, families, and caregivers.
- Increase timely data collection and research to identify and respond to youth mental health needs more rapidly.
Earlier this fall, CHA in concert with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists declared a national mental health emergency in children ahead of launching Sound the Alarm for Kids, an initiative urging Congress to enact legislation and increase funding to address the emergency. More than 125 groups have joined the effort to help ensure children and teens, and those who care for them, can access the mental health resources they need and deserve.