Teen Mental Health

August Newsletter

MH August

 Suicide Prevention Awareness Week begins September 10 as the global community observes World Suicide Prevention Day. Speak up about suicide prevention by using #BeThe1To to tell others to know the signs, find the words and reach out to someone at risk. Visit Each Mind Matters and Know the Signs for valuable information about how to start conversations about suicide prevention. 

Suicide Prevention Message Takes Center Stage at VMA's
On Sunday night, rapper Logic took the stage at MTV's Video Music Award to perform "1-800-273-8255" named after the suicide prevention hotline. Read the story behind the anthem and watch the performance. 

Op Ed: Guidelines Necessary for Reports About Suicide
MH August 1

 Media coverage about the passing of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington showed the disparities in reporting about suicide. LA Times writer Melissa Batchelor discusses how media outlets can report responsibly about this topic. Read the recommendations... 

Young Adult, Female Suicide Rate Reachers 40 Year High

According to the National Center for Health Statistics suicide rate for girls between the ages of 15-19 has doubled in the last decade. Learn how you can start a conversation about suicide prevention with your teen utilizing materials from the Know the Signs campaign.

MH August 2
Researchers Identify Connection Between Mental and Physical Health

Scientists have learned that depression and obesity are entwined. Research continues to try to identify why. Learn more here...

New Study: 80% of People Experience Mental Illness
Researchers at Duke University found that mental illness is more common than previously believed and that with treatment many can and do live healthy lives. Get the details... 

Now Available: 2017 Suicide Prevention Awareness Week Toolkit

The new toolkit focuses on suicide prevention for men in their middle years. It includes tools such as a data briefing, hand-outs, a presentation and drop-in article to support outreach to this population. Download it today...


July Newsletter

National Council for Behavioral Health and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Team Up to Train 150,000 Mental Health First Aiders

Mental health matters. That’s the message behind a partnership between the National Council for Behavioral Health and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation to train 150,000 people in Mental Health First Aid by the end of the year.

Mental Health First Aid will hold trainings along all U.S. stops of Lady Gaga’s Joanne World Tour. In four cities – Sacramento, Omaha, Detroit and Denver – the trainings will be free-of-charge to participants. The partnership is part of Born This Way Foundation’s Channel Kindness Tour, a five-month series of activations youth engagement events and community gatherings the organization is hosting in coordination with the Joanne World Tour.

“Lady Gaga and Born This Way Foundation are true difference-makers for mental health. This commitment reflects the importance of teaching people how to help someone who is facing a mental health or substance use challenge,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. Read More...

Mental Health Good Reads

Madalyn Parker: Coming Clean About Mental Health at Work

Madalyn Parker's workplace is understanding about mental health challenges. Her recent viral Tweet showing her CEO's amazing response to her request to take time off for her mental health is just one example of how her workplace supports her employees' mental health. But it took a lot of time for her to get to that place.

During the summer of 2014, Parker wrote this on a depression forum:

"I don't want my colleagues to think that I don't like or care about my job. It's literally perfect. I don't like how little I've been able to accomplish lately. How can I have an honest and frank discussion with my superiors about my mental state and still have them trust me to get things done and value me as an employee?"

Turns out she wasn't the only person at her workplace experiencing mental health challenges. Now, she doesn't feel guilty about taking a mental health day. She feels she can be proactive about her mental health at work and understood and supported by her colleagues. Read more...


4 Mental Health Tools to Add to Your Back-to-School List

It’s the night before the first day of school. You’re a teacher and scrambling to make sure your classroom is stocked with the tools your students need to be successful this year: markers, rulers, flip charts, glue sticks—the list goes on. But what’s in your mental health toolkit?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five young people ages 13-18 have, or will have, a serious mental illness in their life, and half of all lifetime cases of mental illness start by age 14. Unaddressed mental health concerns in young people can affect every aspect of their lives—from relationships with classmates to performance in school—and teachers are in a unique position to notice and intervene when a student may be struggling.

Programs like Youth Mental Health First Aid equip teachers, parents and caregivers with the skills they need to identify and reach out to a young person who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use problem.

Read more for 4 tools you can use to boost mental health at school.


Students Say They Don't Know Where to Turn for Mental Health Services

While young adults place a pronounced value on their mental health, many of them do not know how to access resources that can increase their ability to deal with stress, anxiety and other mental health issues, according to a new survey. One professor specializing in mental health in students maintained that properly investing in staff and teacher development could go a long way in offering students in school the means to help themselves.

Zimmerman suggested that schools partner with organizations that specialize in helping people develop the skills to recognize the signs of someone facing mental health challenges, like Youth Mental Health First Aid.

Read more.


Teaching Mental Health in the Classroom

Teaching Mental Health
Valencia D. Clay was 28-years-old when she finally got care for her major depressive disorder. Before then, she didn’t have the vocabulary to understand, or even begin to process, what she was experiencing. She thought, “This is just how I am.”

Now, Clay is using what she’s learned about mental health to help her middle school students take better care of their own. Every day, she makes sure she cultivates a clear message for her students that their lives matter. Her students engage in activities revolving around self-care and readings that prompt them to see their inner beauty.

Most importantly, Clay is intentional about teaching her students how to recognize their feelings and be aware of them at all times.

Read more.


Protecting Interns and Other Physicians from Depression and Suicide

“This month, more than 25,000 medical school graduates will begin working at hospitals and medical centers across the United States. By the end of September, nearly one-third of these new doctors could become depressed and 24 percent could have thoughts of suicide.”

We have a lot of work to do, but training programs like Mental Health First Aid for medical personnel can help increase self-care behaviors and foster a supportive community in hospitals and beyond.

Read more.


ALGEE on The Hill

ALGEE on the hill
Last month, the House Appropriations Committee approved funding for federal health care programs for Fiscal Year 2018. Although several key programs, including Mental Health First Aid, would maintain level funding to last year, there remains great uncertainty as the House and Senate toil with finalizing an appropriations strategy and schedule before the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30). 

Many of you have already reached out to your legislators on behalf of Mental Health First Aid. You must remain diligent! Please continue to call your legislators and encourage them to fully fund Mental Health First Aid. Take action here.



algee ometer

There are now more than 1 million Mental  Health First Aiders in the U.S. trained by more than 12,000 Instructors. See how your state stacks up.



ALGEE in Action

People across the country use Mental Health First Aid every day to reach out and offer help to friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors who may be struggling with mental health or substance use conditions.

We want to hear how YOU have used Mental Health First Aid in your community, or how someone in your life has used Mental Health First Aid to help you.

Email your Mental Health First Aid stories to DaniP@TheNationalCouncil.org to be featured on our blog or in an upcoming newsletter.


Fast Facts

1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will have a serious mental illness.

Approximately 50 percent of students age 14 and older with a mental illness drop out of high school.

Data shows that when schools partnered with community mental health services for just 12 months, the rates of depression and anxiety among students with mental health needs were reduced by 12 percent and suicide attempts dropped by 62 percent.



 In July, we hosted our second in a series of monthly #BeTheDifference Twitter Chats. The topic in July was Summer Self-Care Tips and Tricks. Check out the re-cap of the chat here.

In August, we're partnering with PROJECT 375 and Michi Marshall for a #BeTheDifference chat, "Back-to-School: Lessons Learned About Mental Health at School." Join us on Thursday, August 17 from 2-3 p.m. ET to learn from experts in the field and share your own perspective on how we can make schools more mentally healthy.

To join, follow @MHFirstAidUSA, @MichiMarshall and @PROJECT375 on Twitter and use the hashtag #BeTheDifference in your responses on August 17.