As part of the Texas Child Mental Healthcare Consortium, UT Southwestern is providing mental health resources and consultations to help providers better treat their patients and other teens in North Texas communities.
The Texas. Child Mental Health Care Consortium is a very ambitious project supported and initiated by the state legislature to bring all 12 health-related institutions across the state together to do things in one uniform approach for child mental health. One of the myths about mental health, depression in teens is that we don't know what to do. That is not true. We actually have very good treatments available if they're delivered. Well, we would get actually significant improvement. It's so important to address mental health at the high school level because for people that might later in life have the diagnosis of depression and anxiety. This is when we start to see a lot of those symptoms develop. We are seeing and feeling and hearing the effects of the pandemic. We've had more students having panic attacks in classes in the bathroom in the cafeteria. So this is so timely for our students. The youth depression and suicide research network is across all the 12 nodes with ut southwestern leading the effort and that is designed to identify these teens with problems right away and provide them with the best care that we already know exist today so that we can actually improve outcomes for a large population everywhere across the state. Thank you guys so much for letting us come into your classroom today. The program is called Youth aware of mental health and we call it Yam for short, The Yam program is a five session hands on experiential program that every student in that classroom gets the program and they can immediately get help when they're running into trouble. We have been in 30 schools in north Texas over the last three years reached about 15,000 students. It has been shown to reduce suicide and depression and I hope we can deliver this across the state. 100% of our ninth graders received the program. But I feel like I saw the effects throughout the rest of their time in high school. I hear a lot of students talk about how they want to have real conversation about what's really going on and they found that Yam was a place where they could have those conversations. I dealt with a lot of anxiety and I would try to focus in school but my thoughts would always try to attack me. I was enrolled in the program my freshman year. I ended up finding out that I wasn't the only person who dealt with it. I opened up more with some of my friends and then teachers as well. When students start talking to each other, they realize that they're not the only ones that feel a certain way. Sometimes we all need help. So, it sort of pushes them in the next direction if they need more support for their mental health. My favorite part of the young program was definitely the role playing because I could talk about my mental health and also hear other people's experiences and how they go through high school and their struggles as well. I am so thankful for. Ut Southwestern. It's felt like such a collaboration to youth mental health. It's my hope that 100% of students at heights could get this program year after year one of the main goals is so that teens and their parents and their neighbors do not feel lost when somebody has problems. They should know that there are ways to solve it. Some many medications, so many therapies, so many neither and just exercise might work if we routinely screen for depression anxiety early on so that people don't go through the routine trial and error process. We can get this better. We can actually turn the corner on this.