Mental Health Awareness has been observed in the United States during the month of May since 1949. Mental health is just as important as physical health in achieving whole-body wellness, and 1 in 5 people will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. While everyone has experiences that can impact their mental health, the challenges faced by homeless youth further compound the impacts on their mental wellbeing.
Some facts about homelessness and mental health:
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), the trauma of even short term homelessness can have a major effect on a youth’s future development. In addition to academic difficulties, youth who experience homelessness have much higher rates of emotional, behavioral, and immediate and long-term health problems. In particular, they often struggle with self-esteem, putting them at risk for substance abuse, suicide, violence, and other negative outcomes. Support beyond just housing is necessary to ensure a sustainable exit from homelessness and a path toward a successful future.
This is why we focus our efforts to provide academic, emotional, and social support services that help unsheltered youth overcome homelessness and ultimately live healthy, productive lives.