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Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Task Force

BPC’s Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Task Force is developing evidence-based, pragmatic policy solutions to the youth mental health and substance use crisis for Congress and the administration.

The United States is in the midst of a youth mental health and addiction crisis.

More than 40% of teenagers say they struggle with persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Youth suicide attempts, self-injury, and drug overdoses are all increasing. While these alarming trends cannot be blamed on any single factor, the acute lack of mental health and substance use treatment options for youth, the rise in social and online media, and pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic have played an outsized role.

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Steve Beshear
Former Governor (D-KY)
Val Demings
Former Representative (D-FL)
Jaime Herrera Beutler
Former Representative (R-WA)
John Kasich
Former Representative & Governor (R-OH)

Task Force Co-Chairs on Youth Mental Health


Noopur Agarwal
Vice President of Social Impact, MTV
Jim Carroll, J.D.
Former Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy
Sandy Chung, M.D.
Immediate Past President, American Academy of Pediatrics
Kana Enomoto
Former Acting Administrator, SAMHSA; Former Senior Advisor, HHS
Patrice Harris, M.D.
Former President, American Medical Association
Amy Kennedy
Co-Founder, The Kennedy Forum
Angela Kimball
SVP of Advocacy & Public Policy, Inseparable
Vikki Wachino
Former Deputy Administrator and Director, CMCS and CMS

Youth Advisors

Michael Schmitt
Social Media & Communications Coordinator, HOPE Sheds Light
Sophie Szew
Student, Stanford University

Honorary Congressional Working Group

Sen. Tina Smith
Sen. Katie Britt
Rep. Brittany Pettersen
Rep. Lisa McClain

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