Project Name: Youth Mental Health Dashboard for Western Massachusetts

Our Role: Project lead/convener

Funded by: The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation 

Time frame: April 2024 - present

About the Project

We are convening regional partners to create a Youth Mental Health Dashboard for Western Massachusetts. Our vision is to collaboratively create a useful, actionable, and user-friendly youth mental health dashboard/hub that supports local and regional efforts to use data/information to improve youth mental health. The dashboard will be a resource for communities in the region seeking data and information on youth mental health. It will provide:

  • Regional data to guide regional approaches to address poor youth mental health;
  • Insights to inform state-level policy changes; 
  • A platform to build on and amplify existing data collection and prevention efforts.

In 2023, to complement the statewide Behavioral Health Roadmap focused on direct service and crisis intervention, we convened a variety of stakeholders to develop a Youth Mental Health Roadmap for Western Massachusetts focused on prevention and promotion efforts. While developing the Roadmap, we heard from youth and many others about the fantastic work happening in the region and the desire to collaborate to address poor youth mental health. We also learned that many people were not aware of available data, resources, and evidence-based strategies that would help them address the youth mental health crisis in their communities. Finally, we learned that additional policies and systems were needed to support school and community efforts to address this crisis. 

 We will post updates as this work progresses.  

How does health equity show up?

Our youth are struggling with poor mental health. Mental health can be shaped by biological factors such as our genes, and environmental factors such as access to green spaces, healthy food, relationships, social inequalities, and much more. The 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment for the Coalition of Western Massachusetts Hospitals/Insurer, identified mental health inequities, especially among girls, LGBTQIA+ youth, youth with disabilities, and youth of color. Understanding these inequities can help us better address them.

Advisory Committee

Our Advisory Committee is still being assembled. Stay tuned for more information!