NAMI Statement on Surgeon General’s Advisory on Protecting Youth Mental Health

Dec 7, 2021

Arlington, VA — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today released the following statement from its CEO, Daniel H. Gillison Jr.:

“NAMI enthusiastically applauds the Surgeon General’s Advisory on Protecting Youth Mental Health.

“U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has issued an urgent call to address the youth mental health crisis, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and policymakers must respond with the attention and action it demands. The Surgeon General also recognizes what we know to be true: that mental health cannot be treated separately from our overall health, and that we need society-wide solutions so that everyone can access affordable, high-quality, culturally competent mental health care.

“Half of all people who experience a mental health condition in their lifetime begin experiencing symptoms before the age of 14, and 75% begin experiencing them by age 24. But half of young people with mental health conditions do not get treatment, despite our knowledge that early intervention works.

“We hope that today’s Advisory helps elevate these critical issues of youth mental health on the public policy agenda and that every one of us embraces the roles we can play.”

More resources on youth mental health can be found on NAMI’s website at

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).