Our Youth.

75% of all lifetime cases of mental health conditions emerge before the age of 24.National Alliance on Mental Illness

Given that 75% of all lifetime cases of mental health conditions emerge before the age of 24, The Youth Mental Health Project (YMHP), believes it is essential that communities focus on what can be done to improve the mental health of the youth population. As with any other health concern, early intervention is crucial to improving outcomes.

Stereotypes, discrimination and fear, however, contribute to the deafening silence around the mental health needs of young people, making identification, treatment and access to resources extremely difficult. Families cannot seek help for a problem they don’t know can exist.


Focus on Youth

We recognize that each distinct age range comes with a unique set of needs. With guidance from the CDC we distinguish the following:

  • Young adult 17-24
  • Adolescents 12-17
  • Middle Childhood 6-11
  • Early Childhood 0-5

When referring to “youth,” The Youth Mental Health Project intends to include all of the above age ranges.


While 1 in 5 children in every classroom struggles with mental health problems, 5 in 5 have mental health. In order to improve early identification and intervention of mental illness, mental health literacy has to be embraced by all, not just the affected. Universal understanding promotes normalization of the conversation, which fuels change.

Would you go to the doctor if you had the flu? Broken arm? In a car accident and hit your head? Would you seek treatment if you had cancer? We would not wait until injury or imminent death to treat other chronic conditions. Mental health is as important as physical health and deserves equal support and resources.

Science shows that early detection and intervention with physical illness saves lives. The same is true for mental illness, but lack of knowledge and education about mental health contributes to delays in identification and treatment. Mental health literacy is the key to improving outcomes.