One in five youth in the United States struggles with a mental health condition that interferes with daily life. Of the 74.5 million children in the United States, an estimated 17.1 million have or have had a psychiatric disorder — more than the number of children with cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Half of all psychiatric illness occurs before the age of 14, and 75 percent by the age of 24.
Children and adolescents with mental health conditions are at risk for academic failure, substance abuse, clashes with the juvenile justice system and suicide — all of which come at a tremendous cost to them, their families, and the community. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds. In spite of the magnitude of the problem, lack of awareness and entrenched stigma keep the majority of these young people from getting help.
At ASHA International, we are determined to educate and empower youth to take charge of their mental health & well-being. The Let’s Talk About Mental Health program is a peer-to-peer mental health education program to engage students in a conversation about mental health to promote well-being and prevent suicides.