Center for Youth Mental Health
Removing Barriers to Prosperity
The Center for Youth Mental Health is a program of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences established through a grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. It envisions a mental health system that truly meets the developmental needs and goals of adolescents and young adults.
The center works alongside partners to strengthen relationships among local, state and community-based initiatives to identify gaps and systemic barriers that prevent adolescents and young adults from getting the appropriate care at the right time and place.
The center aims to ensure coordinated, effective, right-sized care is easily accessible in Central Texas to support adolescents in becoming healthy, productive and independent adults.
- Stephen Strakowski, M.D.; principal investigator
- Deborah Cohen, Ph.D., MSW; co-principal investigator
- Cory Morris, MSW; state and local mental health initiatives coordinator
- Laura Stevens, M.Ed., LPC; lead clinical trainer
- Kaleigh Emerson, MPH; project manager
- Da’Keona Jones, youth advisory lead
To reach the Center for Youth Mental Health directly, email the team or call 512-495-5312.
Why Is Transition-Age Research Important?
Fifty percent of adults with a mental illness report their symptoms began in their early teens, and 75% report their symptoms began by age 24. Despite the increased risk of mental health concerns, older adolescents and young adults seek treatment at lower rates than any other age group. This disruption in treatment engagement for individuals who are 16 to 25 years old, also called transition-age youth, is untimely. At this age, major mental illnesses first emerge and place those individuals at risk for high school dropout, unemployment, housing instability and criminal justice involvement.