Leidos has joined the fight against teenage depression
Leidos employees and family members participating in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Hike for Hope event in Huntsville, Alabama.
Leidos has joined the fight against adolescent suicide and depression, a growing public health crisis in America.
Why you should know: May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and many organizations including Leidos are stepping up efforts to make a difference surrounding the teenage mental health crisis.
The data says: According to the most recent data, intentional self-harm is the third-leading cause of death among teenagers, behind only homicide and unintentional injury.
Earlier this year, the CDC published results from its annual Youth Risky Behavior Survey, which showed teen girls and teens who identify as LGBTQ+ are experiencing unprecedented levels of mental distress:
- "More than 1 in 4 girls reported they seriously considered attempting suicide in 2021, up significantly from 2011," the report states. "More than 1 in 10 girls reported they attempted suicide in 2021, also increasing significantly over the decade."
- "In 2021, almost half of LGBTQ+ students seriously considered attempting suicide, nearly 1 in 4 attempted suicides, and nearly 3 in 14 reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness."
"There is a mental health crisis in America as millions are seeking help," says Dr. Christianne Esposito-Smythers, Professor of Psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. "The system is overwhelmed with patients having limited options and experiencing long waits in addition to high costs, insufficient insurance coverage and limited information about available services."
Leidos impact: Leidos supports a number of causes related to teenage depression as part of its Mission for the Mind campaign:
- Leidos is a Presenting Sponsor for all four of this year’s National Capital Area Out of the Darkness Walks, hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (ASFP).
- The company has partnered with EVERFI to bring digital mental health and wellness education to middle school and high school students across West Virginia and Maryland.
- Leidos supports the Women’s Center, which provides free and reduced cost support for mental health and domestic violence. The Women’s Center recently launched a teenage resiliency program, which over the past year has provided nearly 350 adolescents with nearly 4,000 hours of trauma mental health counseling.
- Leidos supports GMU’s Center for Psychological Studies which provides accessible mental health services and helps train the next generation of therapists.
- Leidos supports the National Military Family Association (NMFA) and its Operation Purple Camps designed to help support the mental well-being of military children by giving them a free week of camp to connect with other military kids.
Leidos is hosting a number of activities this month in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Earlier this week, the company hosted a screening and discussion of the new film, “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness.” Presented by legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, the film explores the challenges of youth mental illness in the U.S. and features stories from more than 20 young people who live with mental health conditions.
Next week, Leidos will present “Mission Critical: Prioritizing Mental Health for Military Service Members and their Families,” a panel discussion about the challenges of delivering and accessing mental health resources for military servicemembers and their families.
Most importantly: If you’re having suicidal thoughts, there are people who want to help you. You can speak to someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can also find help from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. If you’re a veteran in crisis, please contact the Veterans Crisis Line.
"Remember, you're not alone," says Dr. Robyn Mehlenbeck, a clinical psychologist at George Mason. "There's support available for both teenagers and their families. By prioritizing mental health throughout the year, we can create a more supportive environment for the younger generation, ensuring they receive the care they need."
Please contact the Leidos media relations team for more information.