MEDIA ADVISORY: HELP Committee to Hold Hearing on Youth Mental Health Crisis in America

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy and other panelists to testify

WASHINGTON, June 6 – The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), will hold a hearing Thursday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. ET titled, “Why Are So Many American Youth in a Mental Health Crisis? Exploring Causes and Solutions.”

In 2021, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Children’s Hospital Association – which collectively represent more than 77,000 physicians and more than 200 children’s hospitals – joined together to declare a “national emergency” in the mental health of children and young people in the United States. Today, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for young people in the U.S. and estimates show more than 60 percent of children who are struggling with depression do not get any mental health care. Meanwhile, as record numbers of young people are in need of mental health care, some 158 million Americans – nearly half the population – live in a mental health care desert and about 80 percent of the country faces a severe shortage of child psychiatrists.

In April, Chairman Sanders held a livestream discussion with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on the youth mental health crisis in America, taking questions submitted from all over the country on topics ranging from social media use to addiction, COVID-19, anxiety, and loneliness. 

What: Hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to consider “Why Are So Many American Youth in a Mental Health Crisis? Exploring Causes and Solutions”
When: 10:00 a.m. ET, Thursday, June 8, 2023
Where: Room 430, Dirksen Senate Office Building. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the HELP Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages

Panel I

  • Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
  • Mrs. Katherine Neas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC

Panel II

  • Mrs. Charlene M. Russell-Tucker, Commissioner, Connecticut State Department of Education, Hartford, Conn.
  • Dr. Joshua Garcia, Superintendent, Tacoma Public Schools, Washington, Tacoma, Wash.
  • Dr. Joy Osofsky, Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, La.