May is Mental Health Awareness Month - learn about the current state of mental health in NH youth

  • Four youth supporting one another by wrapping arms around each other.

Mental health challenges are on the rise across the country, even in youth. Over the past decade, suicide has become the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 34. Let's learn about mental health rates in New Hampshire (NH).

Every two years, teens in high school take the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which tracks youth's behaviors that can impact their health. In NH, 44% of youth felt sad or hopeless almost everyday for two weeks or more. Nearly a quarter of youth have seriously considered attempting suicide, and 19% made a suicide attempt plan. Nearly 10% of youth in NH attempted suicide at least once. Over 36% of youth reported that their mental health was most of the time or always not good including stress, anxiety, and depression), compared to a national average of 29%. All of these rates are even higher for females and youth in the LGBTQ+ community.

So what can we do to help our youth?

  1. Consider getting trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. This program teaches caring adults how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health challenges in youth, and how to support in getting the help they may need. Youth Mental Health First Aid can increase our mental health knowledge and awareness, decrease stigma, and give us the skills to support our young people experiencing a mental health challenge.
  2. Get youth connected to other teens. Connection is one of the best supports for promoting positive mental health. Our 4-H program offers a large variety of programming for all interest, including mental health!
  3. Learn about resources available in your area. Check out some of them here! If a youth is in immediate crisis, call the NH Rapid Response Access Point at 988.

Our specialists  help create healthy people and healthy places in New Hampshire. 

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Youth & Family Resiliency State Specialist
Assoc State Spec Professor
Phone: (603) 862-2495
Office: Cooperative Extension, Pettee Hall Rm GO5C, Durham, NH 03824