Locally and nationally, we are experiencing a youth mental health crisis. Youth suicide rates were rising before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has had a significant impact on youth.
Nationally, 1 out of every 5 kids has a mental health disorder that significantly affects their life, and currently only about half of those kids get treatment.
Seattle Children’s is making a long-term commitment to mental and behavioral health as an inextricable part of child health. This organizational commitment combines generous philanthropic support with a multiyear commitment through our strategic plan.
This means every child would have access to the support and resources they need to succeed and to be happy, safe and well within their family, school and community.
Now is the time for a once-in-a-generation collaboration to transform the behavioral health paradigm. Youth mental health is a growing crisis that has been further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic turmoil. And for too long Black, Indigenous and People of Color have been underserved by the mental health system and under-represented among mental healthcare providers.
The intent is to involve youth, families and a broad coalition of community partners who represent the communities we serve.
Together, we will meet the need for timely, effective crisis intervention and care for families whose children have serious mental health challenges. To reduce future crises and to support mental wellness, we will move to include preventive and strengths-based approaches and away from a singular focus on problem-based models of care. We will build upon positive attributes and skills that support social and emotional well-being for all youth and their families. We will join forces with the many others who are working to eliminate youth suicide.
Bolstered by community support and philanthropy, and with the aim of providing just and compassionate care, Seattle Children’s will focus on these five areas:
You can be a change agent for youth mental health. Here are some ways you can help reduce stigma associated with mental health and mental health care:
Generous support from our community is essential to build new programs, expand existing ones and accelerate research into root causes that will benefit kids in our region and beyond. Together, we can change the paradigm of mental health care to reduce future crises and support mental wellness.
Current healthcare payment models reward procedures and interventions; it’s much harder to get reimbursed by insurance for problems we prevent. The support of our community is essential to build new programs, expand existing ones and accelerate research into root causes that will benefit kids in our region and beyond.
That’s why the generosity of donors like the Sunderland Foundation, the Norcliffe Foundation, the Anu and Satya Nadella family and the Seattle Children’s Guild Association is enabling us to begin the work of transforming youth mental health care for all children and families. Join us.