U.S. Surgeon General Issues Advisory on Youth Mental Health Issues, Offers Advice on How to Help
June 22, 2023
June 22, 2023
When the U.S. Surgeon General issues an “advisory,” it’s a rare public statement meant to call attention to “an urgent public health issue” and to offer recommendations for immediate action to address it.
That’s why it was notable when Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy released such an advisory just over a year ago called “Protecting Youth Mental Health.” In his introduction, he noted that with a pandemic and the increasing use of technology and social media, “the challenges today’s generation of young people face are unprecedented and uniquely hard to navigate. And the effect these challenges have had on their mental health is devastating.”
Mental health issues don’t lend themselves to one-size-fits-all solutions, either, he added: “Every child’s path to adulthood—reaching developmental and emotional milestones, learning healthy social skills, and dealing with problems—is different and difficult. There’s no map, and the road is never straight.”
The road does, however, include lots of time spent in classrooms, so the advisory offers some insight about what both educators and caregivers can do to help create a strong foundation for the mental health of the young people in their charge. Here’s a sample:
You can read the Surgeon General’s Advisory in its entirety here: vea.link/SurgeonGeneral.
The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is a technical assistance and training center with a focus on advancing research, training, policy, and practice in school mental health.
NSCMH offers resources including publication, Webinars, newsletters, and conferences. You can learn more at www.schoolmentalhealth.org.
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