The COVID-19 pandemic brought increased attention to the mental health status and needs experienced by young adults. The 2021 Surgeon General’s Advisory addressing the importance of protecting youth mental health highlights the growing mental health crisis among children, adolescents, and young adults. Among young adults, mental health conditions had been rising prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and during the COVID-19 pandemic their rates have increased more than any other adult age group. The mental health brief, developed by a team from the Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center, provides the most recent national findings on Young Adult mental health status and utilization of mental health care, summaries of the developmental factors important for positive mental health and of evidence-based resources for mental health promotion, prevention, and treatment, and suggestions of activities ranging from the personal to the broader community and healthcare levels on what can be done to promote improvement in mental health and in services needed for young adults.
The authors of the brief shared their “why?” behind the creation of this brief:
As the MCH workforce is confronted with pressing mental health needs among our young people, it can feel so overwhelming as to where to begin. We created this brief document to review the current research, promising approaches (some beginning during the adolescent years) and, hopefully, give public health professionals working with AYAHs and their communities some actionable ideas to push forward.
Title V MCH program leaders, supporters, and partners are in a unique position to elevate and champion the mental health needs of young adults. Although there is no specific focus on young adults in the Title V Block Grant, they are important members of family and community structures that support and/or identify as the populations that the block grant does support, including mothers, birthing people, parents, infants, children, children and youth with special health care needs. As you review the brief, consider where within your Title V MCH program’s existing action you can integrate an intentional focus on young adult mental health.
Access the brief here.