Moulton Leads Bipartisan Resolution Declaring National Youth Mental Health Crisis
Resolution calls for historic investments in mental health care for students
Washington, D.C. — Nearly half of American adolescents have faced mental health disorders at some point in their lives. In 2021, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 20-34.
To call national attention to this dire challenge, Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Chris Stewart (R-UT), David Trone (D-MD), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) introduced a resolution declaring a national youth mental health crisis and calling for historic investments in mental health care for students.
Over the course of the pandemic, mental-health-based emergency room visits increased 25% for children ages 5-11 and over 30% for 12- to 17-year-olds. Meanwhile, nearly 3 in 5 (57%) U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021— representing a nearly 60% increase and the highest level reported over the past decade.
The resolution raises awareness for the dire state of youth mental health and urges a number of different actions by states, schools, and local educators.
“Far too many young people in America are struggling in silence with mental health challenges. It’s not only critical that we increase availability of resources and access to care, but that we continue to destigmatize mental health among the most vulnerable groups,” said Rep. Moulton. “Passing and launching the 988 lifeline was a huge step in the right direction, but there is so much more work to be done. The more we ring the alarm about mental health, the more lives will ultimately be saved.”
"Our nation's young people are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis," said Rep. Stewart, co-chair of the Mental Health Caucus. "There has never been a generation this depressed, anxious, and suicidal. It's our responsibility to provide America's youth with the crucial mental health resources that they both need and deserve. This resolution is a common-sense, necessary step in the right direction, and I'm proud to introduce it alongside my colleagues from both sides of the aisle."
"One of our primary responsibilities as both parents and members of Congress is to protect the wellbeing of our children. While chairing the CBC's Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health, I saw firsthand the devastating impact our mental health crisis has had on our nation's youth and the loved ones of those suffering and those lost to suicide," said Rep. Watson Coleman. "This problem has been festering for years and was only made worse by the COVID pandemic and the resulting isolation and loss of life. We must take steps right now to help our young people and save lives. I'm grateful to Rep. Moulton for helping to bring greater attention to the mental health crisis our children are facing and setting us on a path to address it head on."
“The numbers don’t lie: American children are suffering from a mental health crisis, and we must step up. By raising awareness of this issue, we can ensure that our children know that it’s OK to not be OK,” said Rep. Trone, co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “Last Congress, we delivered $3 billion to mental health in our schools, but the job’s not done. This Congress, we remain committed to breaking the stigma of mental illness, fighting this crisis, and saving lives across our country.”
“The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 children deal with mental illness, and it is time that Congress raises awareness about this crisis,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution that recognizes the mental health epidemic affecting our kids.”
The text of the resolution can be found here.