Official websites use

A website belongs to an official government organization in the City of Boston.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Summit Series to Address Growing Concerns About Youth Mental Health

The events are for youth, parents, and providers and begin in May for Mental Health Awareness Month

For Mental Health Awareness Month this May, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is identifying ways to improve mental health pathways for Boston youth. The Commission’s Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness is hosting “Rise Up for Youth Mental Health: Bridging Gaps and Sparking Change” on May 13, May 28, and June 3 in South Boston for Boston youth aged 14-18, parents and caregivers of youth aged 14-18, and school-based mental health care providers and after-school providers, respectively. Through discussions and activities, participants will identify gaps and propose solutions in youth mental health services related to the pathway from school to afterschool to home. These summits will inform BPHC’s strategic planning regarding youth mental health and be a resource for the public.  

“Ensuring that everybody has access to mental health supports and services is critical,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “We’re determined to support youth who are struggling with their mental health, and I hope that people will attend these events to spark these necessary conversations and share how we as the City can better show up for our youth.” 

“More people are struggling with their mental health and well-being than ever before, and we as a city are invested in addressing this challenge,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, the Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “These summits are one of many ways that we are working together to better understand mental health needs and hopefully improve outcomes. We want to ensure that our work is grounded in what youth, parents, and caregivers want and need.”  

According to BPHC’s Health of Boston Mental Health Report, there has been a significant increase of sadness, hopelessness and anxiety among Boston’s youth, especially youth of color. Currently, more than 40% of BPS students report feeling persistent sadness and hopelessness, while in 2015, 27% of youth reported feeling this way. An increasing number of our high school students are reporting suicidal thoughts. These data are even more severe for students that are marginalized or identify as female or LGBTQ+. 

“It is clear that Boston needs to develop more mental health services, especially those that address the unique needs of Black, Latinx, Asian, LGBTQ+, and other underserved communities. We’re looking at innovative and practical ways to achieve this, and these summits will develop our strategy to improve youth mental health,” said Dr. Kevin Simon, BPHC’s Chief Behavioral Health Officer

“Our goal is to create a supportive environment where we can openly discuss the challenges our youth face and collaborate on practical solutions,” said Samara Grossman, the Director of BPHC’s Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness. “It’s really important to the Center that our strategies are informed by youth and led by youth. By turning to them as our experts, we can find solutions that truly address their needs.” 

“Rise Up for Youth Mental Health: Bridging Gaps and Sparking Change” will have mental health resources, activities, food, and giveaways. Youth ages 14-18, parents, and caregivers who register and attend will also get $25 gift card while supplies last. 

  • May 13 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. – For youth aged 14-18 

  • May 28 from 3 p.m. to7 p.m. – For parents and caregivers of youth ages 14-18 

  • June 3 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. – For school mental health providers and after-school providers 

For event registration and more information, visit here

WriteBoston’s Teens in Print, a nonprofit journalism program for Boston students, is the official media partner for this event. You learn more about the Boston Public Health Commission’s Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness here



Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is the country’s oldest health department. We envision a thriving Boston where all residents live healthy and fulfilling lives. To accomplish this, BPHC works in partnership with communities to protect and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, especially those impacted by racism and systemic inequities. Learn more about our work at   


  • Last updated:
  • Last updated:
Back to top