StandUp in Action for Mental Health

May 31, 2023

StandUp for Kids – National

is the 2023 theme of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, which seeks to raise awareness about behavioral health, support those struggling with mental illness, educate the public on policies, and help break the stigma that surrounds talking about it.

As described by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), #MoreThanEnough is “an opportunity for all of us to come together and remember the inherent value we each hold… No matter what, you are inherently worthy of more than enough life, love and healing.”

Their Struggle is Our Challenge

That homeless and at-risk youth suffer inordinately from mental health issues is no surprise. In our community, they struggle daily with their emotions, psychological and social well-being, and have to circumvent many medical barriers to get help.

• Homeless youth often lack health insurance to see a doctor or get treatment
• They get diagnosed as chemically unbalanced and prescribed medicine but –
– Have no money to pay for it
– Don’t have an I.D. to pick it up
– Get kicked out of hotel/shelter and lose access to it
– No one is observing them for consistent use
– Difficult to maintain recovery
– Without meds, erratic or bad behavior can lead to arrests where an existing mental health issue is not addressed in court


Due to the disconnect from teachers, social workers and assignments in the summer, students get behind in core areas such as math and reading, miss out on school offered meals, access to food pantries, and having frontline “eyes” on them. During the regular school year, mental health professionals are liaisons and advocates – connecting home, community, and school. They must legally report child abuse and neglect to the Department of Family and Children Services within 24 hours of observing – which often goes unreported in the summer because school staff aren’t in contact with youth.

“This organization not only takes care of the material things needed for these kids but their emotional needs as well. They are there to listen and help these young, scared kids find hope and direction, to help them get back on their feet, show them that they matter and that someone really cares…and most of all that they are not alone!”

– Linda Ramey, Former Foster Mom

Their Struggle is Our Challenge

StandUp for Kids is committed to giving homeless youth the attention, understanding and resources to help cope with mental health issues.

We Provide:

• Drop-in Outreach Centers around the country offer food, clothing, showers, laundry, housing and resources
• Outreach Centers bring in psychologists and counselors to talk to youth
• Street volunteers connect youth with medical help, assistance and referrals
• We maintain a toll-free hotline: 1-888-365-4543

Mental Health Matters to All of Us

If you or someone you know needs assistance or is in crisis, please contact the National Alliance on Mental Health:
Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264),
text “HelpLine” to 62640
or email [email protected]