All youth deserve to grow up safe, healthy and prepared for the future; this is the philosophical underpinning which guides the work of the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services. Young people who are homeless are at great risk of developing a mental health problem and without appropriate intervention and treatment, that problem will likely become a lifelong disorder hampering their ability to complete their education, find and maintain adequate employment and develop and sustain healthy relationships. In other words, they will face great impediments to growing up safe, healthy and prepared for the future.
This report firmly establishes that homeless youth are suffering from mental health disorders in numbers that are grossly disproportionate to that of the general adolescent population yet the current system of care is not meeting those mental health needs. In response, the report offers a wide range of innovative strategies to pilot going forward. It is Empire State Coalition’s charge to policy makers, service providers, and concerned citizens, to recognize the impending crisis and reinvent how mental health services are provided to our most vulnerable young people.
It is time to connect the pieces so that every homeless youth showing signs of a mental health problem can receive the individualized assistance they need and deserve to move on to stability and self-sufficiency.
Click here for the full report.