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Priorities

Mental Health

Building resilience and well-being for youth and families by strengthening the mental health workforce, improving quality and coordination of mental health care and enhancing collaboration in communities to support families.

Why we prioritize mental health

The mental well-being of families and youth have long-lasting ramifications on individuals, communities and institutions.

We are focused on improving adolescent mental health--particularly among those who are at risk of, or have had prior contact with, South Carolina's child welfare or juvenile justice systems. We aim to build resilience among priority populations and prevent further engagement with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Here are some important statistics regarding adolescent mental health:

  • In the Palmetto State, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people age 10-24; compared to neighboring states, South Carolina has the highest youth suicide rate
  • Nearly 10% of youth committed to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice qualify as having severe mental illness
  • Children in foster care face disproportionate risk factors for mental health challenges, as do youth who have been incarcerated

Interested in learning more about our work with mental health? Read about recent projects that we have supported in our Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Grantee Highlights books.

Fall 2020 Project Highlights Book

Spring 2021 Project Highlights Book

Pillars

The following pillars will guide our work to improve mental over the next several years:

Youth Leadership

Empower system-impacted youth to support other young people who are facing similar challenges to their mental health and overall well-being.

Community Support

Enhance community support methods that can prevent youth encounters with child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems.

Policy

Advocate for systems change and organizational operations designed to protect and enhance the well-being of adolescents who are exposed to the child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems.

In South Carolina, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth age 10-24.