More than 10,000 school staff and mental health professionals have accessed TRAILS trainings and resources – and that’s only the beginning. Alongside our partner schools, we’re working to offer effective, culturally responsible programming to students nationwide.
What we do
The need for youth mental health care has never been greater: Rates of child and adolescent depression and anxiety, already alarmingly high, have doubled since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2021, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory on the state of youth mental health, calling for an all-of-society response to what has become one of the most significant challenges facing children and teens worldwide.
So many youth are suffering – and most do not receive the support they need. More than 80% of children and adolescents who experience mental health conditions have no way of accessing treatment. Barriers to care, such as long waitlists, limited insurance coverage, and social stigma, too often get in the way.
At TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students), we work to eliminate these barriers by embedding effective mental health programming right into schools. By providing evidence-based training and program materials to teachers, school mental health professionals, and other school staff, we help our partners build strong and sustainable networks of mental health support.
At the core of this work is our commitment to equity. As a means of reaching students who are both at higher risk of poor mental health outcomes and who face disproportionate barriers to care, we prioritize partnerships with Title I designated schools: schools in which at least 40% of students have been identified as low-income. Our goal is to reach 50% or more of Title I designated schools in at least 10 states by 2040, creating new access to effective mental health services for more than 10 million students nationwide.
As we pursue this goal, we specifically aim to improve outcomes among student populations that have historically been excluded from mental health services. These populations include youth who represent racial and ethnic minorities, who are LGBTQIA+, who come from immigrant families, who live in rural or remote communities, or who are experiencing homelessness.