In this issue: Academy School holds community night; May is Mental Health Awareness Month; and reserve your trivia table.

Academy School Community Night

Join us this Thursday, May 12, at 6 p.m. at The Magic House, MADE for Kids, located in the Academy-Sherman Park neighborhood at 5127 Delmar Boulevard, for our Academy School Community Night! As Academy School plans to reopen for the next school year, bring your ideas for how the program can best serve your community, and learn about the school’s early learning program.

Academy School is part of Youth In Need’s early learning program that provides Head Start and Early Head Start services to children, ages birth to five. Caring and qualified teachers help get children kindergarten-ready in free, full-day classroom settings. Children receive health and developmental screenings along with nutrition information. Staff also connect working and non-working families with other community services as needed.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

When the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory in December on the nation’s youth mental health crisis, he mentioned that nearly one in five children, ages 3 to 17, have a mental, emotional, developmental or behavioral disorder. Mental illness affects more than 50 million people in the U.S. During May, there’s a national movement to raise awareness about mental health and reduce the stigma of seeking help.

Quality, accessible mental health care is critical for youth as much as adults. With the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath leaving many feeling isolated and overwhelmed, the additional stigma often associated with mental health and the lack of access to affordable care has only increased the need for counseling services like those Youth In Need can provide.

Offering individual, family and group counseling services, Youth In Need provides counseling at no cost to youth 19 and younger who live or attend school in St. Louis, St. Charles or Lincoln Counties. For more information or to get started, call 314-594-5010 in St. Louis County, 636-946-0101 in St. Charles County or 636-345-4071 in Lincoln County.

Additional Information

Why We Need to Increase Access to Care

  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth experience a mental health condition each year, and only half of them receive treatment.
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
  • The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.
  • 1 in 5 young people report that the pandemic had a significant negative impact on their mental health.
  • 1 in 10 young people under age 18 experience a mental health condition following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

 The Cost of Inadequate Care

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34 and the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
  • 4% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental illness.
  • High school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers.

Be an Advocate

Join the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ movement to advocate for a better mental health care system by signing up for advocacy alerts and taking action when opportunities arise in your community.

Just for Fun

Get emojis that help cure the stigma. Say what other emojis can’t, and download a Sentimoji™, a free emoji sticker pack that shows care and support for friends and loved ones. Available on Android or iOS.

Reserve Your Trivia Table Today!

Youth In Need’s Young Professionals Group will hold its annual Trivia Night to benefit Youth In Need on Friday, May 20, 2022, at the Bridgeton Recreation Center at 4201 Fee Fee Road. Registration is $185 for tables of eight. Don’t have a team but still want to play? Register as an individual for $25 per person, and you’ll be matched with a table. Beer, wine and soda are provided. Outside food and drinks are permitted; just no glass, please. Doors open at 6 p.m., and trivia begins at 7 p.m. Your fun-filled evening includes 10 rounds of trivia, a silent auction, raffles and more! Register or secure your sponsorship online today. For more information about the event and sponsorship opportunities or to make an auction donation, email Emily Birgenheier, Development Services Manager.