05/05/2015 12:26 pm ET Updated May 05, 2016

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day: May 7, 2015

The Challenge

According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, in the United States, 9.1 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds (an estimated 2.2 million youths) in 2012 had at least one major depressive episode within the year prior to being surveyed.

Alcohol remains the most widely abused substance among America's youth, with a higher percentage of youth ages 12 to 20 using more alcohol in the past month (25.1%) than tobacco (19.6%) or illicit drugs (14.9 percent). The extent of alcohol consumption by those younger than the legal drinking age of 21 is a serious threat to both public health and public safety.

We also know that accidents, often caused or contributed to by alcohol or other substance are the leading cause of death among teen and late adolescents. Suicide is the 2nd most common cause of death in these age groups.

What can be Done?

On May 7, SAMHSA will be hosting the 10th National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day in Washington DC. This program is meant to raise awareness and share information about the importance of promoting good mental health and providing comprehensive care for children. This year's event will focus on the theme of integrated care-the importance of careful coordination of care and services among families, schools, primary care medicine, social services and mental health services. This event is open to the public and will be live streamed.

The Jed Foundation is a non-profit that works to promote mental health and prevent suicide on college campuses and among teens and young adults. We advocate a public health model of providing mental health support and services on college campuses. We are strong believers in the value of integrated care. We partner with colleges to provide guidance and resources for their mental health and student support services. We also work to educate young people about mental health and how to find help or help a friend through our web based programs (,, and

The Jed Foundation is honored to be partnering with SAMHSA in celebrating this important event in helping raise awareness of adolescent and young adult mental health.

We hope you will join us in Washington D.C. or online.