Children’s Hospital Association Highlights Release of a Youth Mental Health Crisis Documentary

Children’s Hospital Association Highlights Release of a Youth Mental Health Crisis Documentary

Local, state and federal action is necessary to expand access to mental and behavioral health care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) celebrated the release of the documentary, ‘The Wait to Nowhere: When a Crisis Goes Untreated,” which sheds light on the youth mental health and boarding crises facing children's hospitals across the country. The film is an initiative from the Speak Our Minds campaign and highlights the urgent need for policymakers to join educators, health care providers, communities and families in addressing these critical issues.

“'The Wait to Nowhere’ brings viewers inside the emergency rooms of hospitals, shedding light on the pressing need to address the mental health and boarding crises experienced by our nation’s kids,” said Amy Wimpey Knight, president of CHA. “We are grateful to children’s hospitals who participated in the documentary for sharing important stories, working with communities to develop solutions and encouraging meaningful federal action during Mental Health Awareness Month to support and sustain solutions.”

The documentary features interviews with health care workers, families, patients, and lawmakers who have experienced or are familiar with the youth mental health and boarding crises firsthand. Emergency boarding occurs when children who need hospital care must wait in emergency rooms for extended periods of time because there are no available treatment resources, including inpatient psychiatric beds, intensive outpatient or day program or even a therapist able and willing to provide care. This practice can have devastating consequences for children and their families, causing unnecessary stress and trauma, delaying needed medical treatment, and putting children at risk for adverse outcomes.

The release of the documentary follows the introduction of the Helping Kids Cope Act by Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del. and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. The bill would address several drivers of the national emergency in youth mental health and the pediatric emergency boarding crisis, including expanding access to telehealth, improving workforce training, and funding research on children's mental health.

For more information on CHA's advocacy efforts, visit


About Children's Hospital Association

Children’s Hospital Association is the national voice of more than 200 children’s hospitals, advancing child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care.