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The Facts

Tracking New York's Youth Mental Health Crisis

Across New York State, too many families find it impossible to get the behavioral health (mental health and substance use) services their children desperately need. The consequences can be devastating: Children get sicker; schools are overburdened; families are stressed and sometimes broken.

Meanwhile, taxpayers bear the cost when untreated problems turn into emergencies. Because they cannot get the care they need when they need it, children end up in emergency rooms, hospitals, the juvenile justice system, and foster care. Families and communities suffer further when unaddressed problems in childhood develop into adult mental illness.

  • 1/2

    of New York youth with major depressive episodes in the past year did not receive any treatment.

  • There are only

    28 child psychiatrists

    per 100,100 children in New York. In many counties there are none.

  • 1 in 5

    children in New York have a mental health need

Historical Trends Show Increasing Need for Most New York Students

The Centers for Disease Control has anonymously asked New York students – along with students across the country – questions about risky behavior since 1997. Below are the results of how New York students have responded to some of the behavorial health related questions.

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Trends are high particular among LGBTQ youth

The Trevor Project conducts a national survey asking LGBTQ youth throughout the country questions related to – among other subjects – their mental health. Starting in 2022, the results have an aggregated by state. Below are results for LGBTQ youth.

The capacity for New York State to address the crisis has decreased

Most New York Counties have zero outpatient clinics for helping children in a mental health crisis.

Youth Behavioral Health Support in New York


The Good News Is, If New York invests in children early, we can change the trajectory of their lives