February 10, 2022 | Resources

Addressing the Adolescent Mental Health Emergency: Community-Based Recommendations for Key Stakeholder Groups

Today, The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health released its latest report examining four common challenge areas experienced by community-based mental health organizations.

Insights were gathered from a series of in-depth interviews with Upswing Surge Capacity grant recipients. In each section, specific recommendations are provided for various stakeholders to support the expansion of culturally responsive mental health care to adolescents of color and LGBTQ+ youth.

Upswing partners are on the front lines of the recently declared national child and adolescent mental health emergency, further elevated as a national priority in the U.S. Surgeon General’s December 2021 Advisory: Protecting Youth Mental Health.

Rich with direct quotes from grant recipients, this report aims to address the growing emergency and close equity gaps in service by centering the voices of providers to inform changes in funding, research, and policy practices.

The full report is available below, as well as individual downloads for each of our four key focus areas:

Download the Full Report (PDF)

Executive Summary (PDF)

Part 1: Funding Community-Based Programs (PDF) Community mental health providers are uniquely positioned to track youth needs in real time. Flexible funding allows them to pivot resources for the greatest impact serving the most immediate needs of their youth.

Part 2: Building Community Partnerships (PDF) Partnerships between community-based organizations support integrated mental health care and social service infrastructure in local communities, increasing touchpoints and service access for adolescents.

Part 3: Building and Sustaining a Mental Health Care Workforce (PDF) Our mental health care workforce is strained. Prioritizing access to care for adolescents of color and LGBTQ+ youth looks like training and hiring enough providers to serve them in culturally responsive ways.

Part 4: Measuring the Mental Health and Well-Being of Adolescents (PDF) Developing inclusive measurement tools that appropriately capture the unique mental health experiences of adolescents of color and LGBTQ+ youth is necessary to understand and serve these target populations.

The Upswing Fund thanks its network of grant recipient partners for their leadership, expertise, and persevering service to their communities in the face of this national emergency, as well as for their time and insights in the development of this report.

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