Future Forum’s Underwood, Kennedy Discuss Mental Health Challenges of Young Americans

August 10, 2019 by Dan McCue

U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., and Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., hosted a forum in Yorkville, Ill. This week to discuss challenges young Americans face with mental health. 

Underwood and Kennedy are members of Future Forum, an influential group of young members of Congress who advocate for issues and opportunities important to younger Americans.

The event featured a discussion with young adults and mental health professionals and provided an opportunity for community members to share personal stories and discuss ways Congress can improve access to mental health care and resources.

Young people are the future of our country—our community leaders, our business owners, and our caretakers; but they’re facing a mental health crisis that is getting worse by the year,” Underwood said.

“Access to mental health services depends on a lot of factors—stigma, available providers, and not least of all, affordability,” the representative continued. “That’s why every day in Congress I fight to protect insurance coverage for mental health services and affordable access to care.”

“For too long mental health has been relegated to the sidelines of our system,” Kennedy said. “This is a burden our generation bears deeply, with unprecedented levels of depression, anxiety, substance use disorder and suicide. Conversations like the one today are critical to eliminating the stigma around mental illness and keeping this issue front and center in Congress.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth in the United States.

A recent study shows that the suicide rate among those ages 15 to 24 soared in 2017 to its highest point in nearly two decades.

In June, Future Forum members successfully secured a $2 million increase in resources for the Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention grant program, which funds education and support services for vulnerable students in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, foster care systems, and juvenile justice systems. The measure was approved with broad bipartisan support.

Since its inception, Future Forum has visited nearly 50 cities to engage with millennial and Gen Z Americans where they live, work, and go to school on issues important to them.

That involvement is key, Underwood said.“I am optimistic that because of the voices we heard today and through continued engagement, we can work to create more environments where people can talk as openly about mental illness as a physical illness,” she said. “Thanks to Congressman Kennedy for joining me in this effort to reach out to young people, ask questions, listen intently, and commit to act.”

Mental Health

Is Video Game Addiction a Mental Health Disorder? South Korea Looks in the Mirror Mental Health
Is Video Game Addiction a Mental Health Disorder? South Korea Looks in the Mirror

SEOUL, South Korea — His video game habit started in middle school. His bedroom door was always locked, and when his grandmother stood on the veranda and peered through his window, he was invariably engrossed in an on-screen gunfight. He eventually began disappearing to play at... Read More

Philadelphia’s Landmark Supervised-Injection Site Ruling Has Boosted Such Efforts in Other Cities In The News
Philadelphia’s Landmark Supervised-Injection Site Ruling Has Boosted Such Efforts in Other Cities

PHILADELPHIA — The federal court ruling in favor of Philadelphia’s proposed supervised-injection site doesn’t apply to the handful of other cities that have floated the idea over the last few years. But backers of the harm-reduction concept around the country say they’ve been galvanized by the... Read More

Katko Leading Bipartisan Drive to Bolster Aid for Suicide Crisis Centers Mental Health
Katko Leading Bipartisan Drive to Bolster Aid for Suicide Crisis Centers
October 4, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., is leading a bipartisan initiative to bolster aid for suicide crisis centers. The initiative, H.R. 4564, would amend the Public Health Service Act to ensure "the provision of high-quality service through the Suicide Prevention Lifeline." It is co-sponsored by... Read More

Want to Reduce Suicides? Follow the Data — to Medical Offices, Motels and Even Animal Shelters Mental Health
Want to Reduce Suicides? Follow the Data — to Medical Offices, Motels and Even Animal Shelters

HILLSBORO, Ore. — On Kimberly Repp’s office wall is a sign in Latin: Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae. This is a place where the dead delight in helping the living. For medical examiners, it’s a mission. Their job is to investigate deaths and... Read More

Coming Out About Mental Health on Social Media Mental Health
Coming Out About Mental Health on Social Media

Susanna Harris was sitting in her lab class for her graduate program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she received an email that told her she had failed what she describes as “the most important exam in grad school,” the doctoral qualifying... Read More

Beyond Jeffrey Epstein, Suicide Among Inmates Is a Rising Problem Mental Health
Beyond Jeffrey Epstein, Suicide Among Inmates Is a Rising Problem

ATLANTA — One afternoon in August, six days after Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell, Christi Phillips received a troubling message. Her husband, Mike, who is serving time at a state prison in Valdosta, Ga., overheard his cellmate talk about killing himself.... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top