O ver the past 20 years, mental health among teens and young adults has been declining rapidly across America. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated and heightened the problem.
In fact, due to the skyrocketing numbers of deaths by suicide among 10- to 24-year-olds, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national state of emergency in children’s mental health in late 2021.
It’s clear we’re facing a teen and young adult mental health crisis. But it’s also clear that your philanthropic support is helping The University of Texas at Austin leverage its size, research expertise and community engagement to solve one of society’s biggest problems.
One way we’re doing this is through the Amplify Center, which is the very first young adult mental health clinic in Texas. The center is part of UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, and its goal is to intervene in the mental health challenges that develop during adolescence and young adulthood.
“I have been feeling a lot better mentally since I walked through the doors of the Amplify Center. You guys are a big part of my life, and I enjoy being heard and seen for the first time in my adult life.”
AMPLIFY CENTER CLIENT
One client recently shared, “I have been feeling a lot better mentally since I walked through the doors of the Amplify Center. You guys are a big part of my life, and I enjoy being heard and seen for the first time in my adult life.”
Deborah Cohen, Ph.D., MSW, the executive director of the Amplify Center and co-director of UT’s Center for Youth Mental Health, shares, “Young adulthood doesn’t fit well into our existing mental health care systems because the systems were created to support adults who are already living with chronic mental illness. A young adult usually can’t access those services unless they are in crisis or have a run-in with the police. The Amplify Center is a better solution for this age group than what’s currently in place.”
Da’Keona Jones, a Youth Advisory Lead at the Amplify Center, adds, “When more centers like the Amplify Center open up, the young people in our country will be unstoppable because they’ll understand, ‘I’m a human, and it’s OK to not be OK. And I don’t have to think that no one’s listening.’
“Oh baby, we’ve got ears and we listen! The Amplify Center is the future because it’s innovating youth mental health care. This is just the start!”
Thank you for your ongoing generosity. Donors like you are amplifying what young adults need for better mental health — and emboldening our faculty and students to push the boundaries of knowledge and respond to society’s greatest challenges.
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A message of thanks from Vice President David Livingston.