The Future of Mental Health Starts with Prevention

MHA Admin

Fri, 06/02/2023 – 16:40

by Schroeder Stribling, President and CEO of Mental Health America

“Youth have ideas that can transform the system to serve all and not just some.” 
Juan Acosta, Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council member and 2023 Policy Institute speaker

When the current mental health crisis feels insurmountable, I look to the Next Generation – the emerging activists and visionaries speaking up about their lived experiences and speaking out about the transformation they envision.

Every day, 20,000 people visit Mental Health America’s free and anonymous National Prevention and Screening platform. About three quarters of them are under age 25. We hear countless stories from individuals, parents, peers, friends, loved ones, and educators, and young people about the distress and despair they are facing, and the life circumstances which are contributing to their challenges.

Yet also every day we are witness to resilience, strength, and hope. We are committed to following these voices and stories – to understanding what helps, what harms, and what heals, and to ally ourselves with the youth leaders of tomorrow to build a future of mental health care to “serve all and not just some.”

According to our 2023 State of Mental Health in America Report, 1 in 10 youth or young people in the U.S. are currently experiencing depression that is severely impairing their ability to function at school or work, at home, with family, or in their social lives, and nearly 60% of young people with major depression report not receiving any mental health treatment. Additionally, our 2022 National Screening and Prevention data noted escalating rates of concern and risk among adults about ADHD. BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Screeners were at the greatest risk – scoring at higher rates than others on measures of depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

There are multiple factors involved in our current crisis: lack of access and affordability, a mental health workforce shortage, the effects of pandemic isolation and loneliness, social media dangers, systemic inequities and racism, which is particularly impacting our youngest populations.

If we are to keep pace with their needs, their demands, and their vision for the new future they want to see, we need to focus on what’s next – and what’s next is prevention. Prevention measures are essential to reduce the emergence of new mental health conditions, intervene early when they do emerge, and promote the recovery and resilience of those struggling, living with, and/or experiencing mental health and substance use conditions or crises.

Over the next two years, Mental Health America will continue to activate on our strategic plan, which is focused on the next generation of prevention (Next Gen Prevention). We are focused on the future – a focus that centers our attention on the health and well-being of future generations, amplifies the necessary systemic reforms to address equity, quality, and inclusion in mental health care, and embraces new insights and potential from the frontiers of science and technology. We are continuing to fight for and center the needs of people with lived experience through six horizon focus areas:

Social Determinants of Mental Health | Next Gen Equity
Next Gen Digital | Next Gen Innovation
Spirituality | Next Gen Resilience
Screening 2.0 | Next Gen Prevention
Collective Impact | Next Gen Sustainability
Substance Use | Next Gen Support

Across every focus area, Mental Health America is expanding and deepening our 114-year commitment to the overall mental health and well-being of the population with Next Gen Prevention. Through our programs and policy work, we are promoting public mental health literacy, which includes an understanding of the vital conditions necessary for basic safety and well-being, and highlighting the protective factors that reduce risk and promote overall health, mental fitness, and resilience. We are ensuring that the next wave of digital services centers lived experiences, prioritize an openness to new thinking, approaches, and partners, and we are advancing our own digital and screening supports to meet these standards and ambitions.

As we look to harness and deploy the protective factors that will increase the mental health of future generations and promote recovery for those in need, we will explore the role of spirituality as a population-scale driver of resilience and well-being. With most Americans saying some form of spirituality plays an important role in their lives, there is an ever-increasing bank of evidence that personal well-being is enhanced by mindfulness, spirituality, and social connectedness.

And we are further developing what we already know – expanding the deployment of Mental Health America’s National Prevention and Screening Program for individuals, schools, and other partners and advancing our Screening Program. We will continue supporting and enhancing the capacity and impact of our vibrant Affiliate Network and establish strategic partnerships to expand our national reach and impact. And we will ensure the integration of mental health conditions into all of our mental health work, giving equal weight to substance use and eating disorders, which often face a greater weight of stigma.

Our focus will come to life at Mental Health America’s Conference, Next Gen Prevention, which kicks off tomorrow, June 6, in Washington, D.C. and online. With breakout sessions like Supporting Youth Substance Use and Addiction Recovery from a Peer Perspective and Emerging Trends in the Development and Uptake of Digital Peer Support Technologies, the conference integrates our horizon areas and focuses our attention and conversation on our priorities.

Mental Health America’s Conference and strategic plan provide the frame, and together we commit to action. We are integrating Next Gen Prevention across our work in direct service, public education, research, advocacy, and public policy. By activating the preventive mental health measures in Next Gen Prevention, we look to make measurable progress across key indicators of mental health – reducing the percentage of all people, and especially young people, reporting psychological distress.

This is what’s next for Mental Health America, and I am eager to build and implement our Next Gen Prevention plan alongside you. If you are joining the conference, I’d love to meet you in person and hear how you’re already achieving what’s next. You can also send me an email at and learn about other opportunities to get involved with Mental Health America.

Today, Mental Health America is activating our next plan for progress and pursuing our vision for a future of well-being and flourishing for all.


The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Code Red
Gunshot Victim
Life Threatening Wounds
Physical Assault Victim
Severely Injured Auto Accident Victim
Burn Victim
Choking & Breathing Obstructions
and more…


Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: