Children’s Mental Health in Tennessee

July 7, 2021 // Nora Hendricks

Tennessee and the United States are facing a children’s mental health crisis that has only worsened since the Covid-19 pandemic began. This video blog talks about the children’s mental health crisis and policy recommendations for Tennessee. It covers how Tennessee ranks compared to other states for some children’s mental health measures, some solutions that have been proposed by healthcare providers to help fight the children’s mental health crisis, and includes a recent win in Tennessee for children’s mental health.

Tennessee ranks 34th out of the 50 states for having high rates of mental illness and low rates of access to care for children based on 7 measures. These measures include a youth having at least one major depressive episode in the past year, a youth with substance use disorder in the past year, a youth with a major depressive episode who did not receive mental health services, and four other measures.

Increased access to preventative care; fighting the stigma around mental health by talking about it with children; and an increase in children’s mental health providers and facilities can all play a roll in helping to combat this children’s mental health crisis in Tennessee. We urge the Tennessee legislature to prioritize spending towards children’s mental health services and rural school-based health centers.

Please contact your legislators, and let them know that it is important to you that they invest in children’s mental health!

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month! Make a commitment to work for health justice so that everyone has access to quality, affordable mental health care by signing our Black Health Matters Pledge. Celebrate this month by beginning – or continuing – your journey as an advocate for Black health, and join us in encouraging state leaders to prioritize the accessibility of healthcare, including mental health resources, for Black people in Tennessee.