Many young people with behavioral health issues encounter difficulties once they're no longer eligible for publicly funded children's mental health services, leaving some to fall through the cracks. Learn about SAMHSA efforts to meet the needs of these emerging adults.
Chiara de Blasio, daughter of the mayor of New York City, was recognized for her story of recovery and commitment to help others on National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day.
Also related, statistics on teens and young adults, a 1-year update on the White House Conference on Mental Health, and a message from the SAMHSA Administratoron seven myths about youth aging out of the children's mental health system.
“Finding people that have gone through it … people being honest, open.” This is how Chiara de Blasio describes the key to her recovery. Peer support was crucial, she said, as well as the support of her parents. Daughter of the
Mayor of New York City, the 19-year-old has struggled with clinical depression for most of her adolescence and faced new challenges when she started college.
In May, Chiara served as Honorary Chairperson for National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, an annual observance held to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health. The theme this year, “Inspiring Resilience, Creating Hope,” reflected the focus on older adolescents and young adults and the importance of social connectedness to overcome the challenges of transitioning to adulthood in the face of mental or substance use disorders.
“I feel an obligation to speak out because adolescence is a time of vulnerability and insecurity, and we need to help each other during difficult times.”
– Chiara de Blasio
– Chiara de Blasio
Joined by her parents, Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray, on the stage at SAMHSA’s observance of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, Chiara explained her struggle – one that she only began discussing publicly last year. In college, her clinical depression was coupled with alcohol and drug use, which she felt gave her common ground with her classmates. But it didn’t make academia or everyday life easier and Chiara started to feel a downward spiral.
“My therapist… referred me to an outpatient treatment center in New York City,” explained Chiara. “My mom was trying really hard to help me – any little thing she could do. My dad was doing the same, but he was obviously really busy.” Her father was campaigning for public office at the time. “They were both emotionally committed to trying to figure out some way to get me better."
Now Chiara is dedicated to serving as a role model of recovery and a peer to whom other youth can relate. Chirlane McCray said of her daughter, “She somehow found the strength to help herself and to help others."
SAMHSA was joined by 1100 communities and 140 national collaborating organizations in the observance. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde were also at the event, emphasizing the message of how significant peer support can be in recovery
Also in This Issue
Working with clients who have difficulty managing anger can be a challenge. SAMHSA offers a new online course, with continuing education credit, to learn effective approaches in behavioral health care settings.
Unregulated and marketed as cigarettes once were, e-cigarettes pose new concerns regarding nicotine addiction—especially for middle and high school students.
Exposure to alcohol before birth can cause lifelong problems for infants and their families. SAMHSA's new Treatment Improvement Protocol provides guidance to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancy and assist those affected by it.
Leaders from SAMHSA and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders convened a forum to address workforce development, integrated care, data and surveillance, and community engagement.
As part of its wellness initiative, SAMHSA focuses on preventing cardiovascular disease in individuals with behavioral health conditions. Peer groups were given funds to form community walking groups, peer support buddies, nutrition and cooking workshops, and other community-based efforts.
This interactive page offers new training opportunities, informational resources, and events of interest to behavioral health practitioners.
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