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Monday, May 6, 2024



Marking Mental Health Awareness Month, First Partner Siebel Newsom Highlighted California’s Youth Mental Health Resources at a Los Angeles High School

LOS ANGELES — Yesterday, California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom visited Hollywood High School to participate in a roundtable and town hall discussion with students, parents, and educators about youth mental health and the challenges families face while navigating the ongoing crisis. The event, which was held in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District, the California Partners Project, and the Child Mind Institute, helped kick-off Mental Health Awareness Month, closed out Youth Mental Health Awareness Week, and served as an important reminder of the state’s innovative, accessible, and inclusive strategy to support Californians’ mental health across the state. “Today’s youth and parents face a deluge of unique pressures – balancing the ubiquity of digital media and time on screens, economic and social pressures, rising environmental crises, and more. California recognizes these challenges and we’re investing in programs and services to support California families.” - First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom WHY IT MATTERS: Our youth are facing a mental health crisis. Over 284,000 youth cope with major depression and 66 percent of kids with depression do not receive treatment. Three out of every 20 secondary students seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. A CDC study found that nearly 3 in 5 U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 – a nearly 60% increase in the last decade and the highest-level reported over the past decade. Young people face rising rates of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, with children and youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth, low-income youth, and youth from underserved communities being disproportionately impacted. That is why First Partner Siebel Newsom and Governor Newsom have worked to make resources to support California kids and families more accessible and affordable. “At every step of the way, we have connected with young people and their families to better understand their mental health struggles and what they want from a supportive system,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of California Health and Human Services. “The only way to tailor a system that is diverse in its ways of meeting behavioral health needs of California youth is to prioritize the voices and perspectives of the children and families we seek to serve.” “Today’s event spotlights what Los Angeles Unified is doing for youth mental health,” said Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “We are investing in telehealth, peer-to-peer networks and recently held our second annual Mental Health & Wellness Symposium with over 500 student participants, demonstrating just how powerful the voice of youth can be. As we look ahead to build our pipeline into these professions, we are actively seeking creative ways to provide numerous pathways to careers in mental health.” “To truly serve the community, mental health services must reflect the community. This means not only making these services accessible but ensuring they are culturally attuned to the needs of those they aim to help,” said Nina Westbrook, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Founder of Bene By Nina. “For too long, many children in California have had no place to turn to when they needed mental health support,” said Khoa-Nathan Ngo, Youth Fellow for the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative. “Seeing California not only acknowledge this problem but work to fix it offers me so much hope as a youth. To see services ranging from prevention to intervention tells youth that no matter where you are in your emotional well-being, we are there for you.” “We are proud to expand our work with the State of California. The debut of the Positive Parenting, Thriving Kids video series marks a significant milestone for us in addressing the youth mental health crisis,” said Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, founding president and medical director of the Child Mind Institute. “We are confident these innovative tools will serve families and caregivers as instruments for positive change, offering a renewed sense of optimism and prioritizing the mental health of our nation’s children and adolescents.” BIGGER PICTURE: California has invested billions in the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI), a cornerstone of Governor Newsom’s Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health. The CYBHI includes robust investments in mental health and wraparound services for young people and are designed to meet Californians where they are – which includes extensive support for schools, educators and the children they serve. Some of these include: Two online behavioral health services platforms (apps): BrightLife Kids and Soluna, offering free coaching services with behavioral health wellness coaches, a library of multimedia resources, wellness exercises, and peer communities moderated by trained behavioral health professionals. Free video and print resources: California Positive Parenting, Thriving Kids, which provides parents and caregivers with practical, evidence-based information and skills to address the most common parenting challenges; and California Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids, which caregivers and educators can use to teach their kids critical mental health and coping skills. A youth suicide prevention campaign called, Never A Bother. The launch of a new profession – Certified Wellness Coaches – as an early-career opportunity to provide care to young people through prevention and early intervention services. An Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress campaign – Live Beyond – to provide awareness and understanding of ACEs and strategies to promote healing. A free online training for educators and early care providers – Safe Spaces – to provide the tools to recognize and respond to trauma and stress in kids. In addition, the California Partners Project recently released 10 Tech Tips, a precursor to a four-part series of reports and guides with information and tools to empower parents and caregivers as they navigate a rapidly evolving technological landscape with their children.

May 6, 2024

Marking Mental Health Awareness Month, First Partner Siebel Newsom Highlighted California’s Youth Mental Health Resources at a Los Angeles High School

March 12, 2024

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