MD Department of Health Grapples with Violence and Youth Mental Health

On Wednesday, July 6th, the Maryland Department of Health released a compilation of comprehensive mental health and crisis resources for youth and others coping with violence.

The resources were developed and compiled by MDH’s Behavioral Health Administration. They include tips, as well as local and nationwide information and fact sheets (in English and Spanish), for parents, educators, and behavioral health professionals to help young people. MDH’s Acting Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health, Dr. Lisa Burgess, stressed the importance of a collaborative approach to mental health and crisis services in a press release:

‘Interagency collaboration is key to our success in providing resources for Marylanders in crisis,’ said Acting Deputy Secretary Burgess. ‘Further, using a coordinated framework to effectively support crisis services in Maryland is critical to providing these needs for our residents.’

MDH’s tips for those coping with violence include the following:

  • Avoid overexposure to the news and social media. This is especially important for young people.
  • Stay aware of your emotional health and how it is impacted by the news you consume, as well as the emotional health of the people around you.
  • Attend to your self-care needs: go for walks, listen to music, meditate, exercise. Try to keep a regular routine as much as possible. Get enough sleep and nourishment.
  • Maintain ongoing contact with your support systems, such as friends and family.
  • Try to recognize when you may need extra support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or offer help to someone who may also be struggling emotionally.
  • Check on the young ones in your life. Help them talk about their feelings about the situation to help ease their fears.
  • Seek professional counseling or therapy for yourself and loved ones as needed

Individuals seeking access to MDH’s mental health and crisis materials can find them here.

Read the full MDH press release.