Future Forum’s Underwood, Kennedy Discuss Mental Health Challenges of Young Americans
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.”
In The News
WASHINGTON -- Incidents the past few days in New York City demonstrate why a congressional subcommittee met Thursday to discuss “a national mental health crisis.” Last week, an emotionally disturbed man barricaded himself in a subway motorman’s car, shutting down train service on the rail line... Read More
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — During the gloomiest stretches of the pandemic, Dr. Diona Krahn's veterinary clinic has been a puppy fest, overrun with new four-legged patients. Typically, she'd get three or four new puppies a week, but between shelter adoptions and private purchases, the 2020... Read More
WASHINGTON — After a federal judge ruled on Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium on evictions exceeded the agency's authority, the Department of Justice announced it would appeal the decision. U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich authored the 20-page opinion accompanying the ruling.... Read More
About 6 miles outside of a tiny town called Granby, Colo., is a little ranching community called C Lazy U Ranch nestled 8,000 feet high aside the cusp of the towering Rocky Mountains. Entering the ranch is a dusty dirt road that leads to a vista... Read More
Nathan Moose, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, developed permanent lung damage equivalent to that of a heavy smoker, despite never having smoked a day in his life. Moose was an employee of a casino for 11 years that allowed indoor smoking, and in 2013... Read More
Last week researchers at the University of California, Davis, published a study about a genetically encoded sensor called “PsychLight,” capable of detecting hallucinogenic compounds in the brain of mice, and how those compounds bind to receptors. “The most shocking thing was the fact that it worked,... Read More