NGA Chair New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Leads Discussion With U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy On Strengthening Youth Mental Health
WASHINGTON – During the 115th annual Winter Meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA), NGA Chair New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was joined by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and health care experts to discuss his NGA Chair’s Initiative: Strengthening Youth Mental Health, as well as an initiative on maternal and infant health led by New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy.
“The youth mental health crisis existed before COVID-19, but the realities of the pandemic exacerbated and highlighted the problem,” said Governor Murphy. “The nation’s youth mental health challenge transcends both state and party lines, and Governors from around the country are showing real unity in working with youth, parents, teachers, and mental health professionals to find solutions. Young people deserve to have their mental health supported, and Governors are committed to ensuring that communities in every state can access the mental health supports they need.”
“Youth mental health is an urgent issue in Utah and nationwide,” said Utah Governor Spencer Cox. “By listening to those on the frontlines in our schools, hospitals and communities, Governors can ensure that our policies are supporting the institutions that will strengthen families and help our youth.”
During meeting sessions Thursday – Saturday, Governors have met with federal officials and leaders from business, academia and philanthropy for solutions-driven conversations around the top issues in states and territories.
In response to rising rates of mental health distress among young people, Governor Murphy introduced his NGA Chair’s Initiative in July. Through the Strengthening Youth Mental Health initiative, Governors from across the nation are collaborating to develop bipartisan solutions.
Other panel speakers included Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Richard Besser; Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, founder of the AAKOMA Project; and mental health advocate Reina Chiang, a college student and founder of the nonprofit, “umatter apparel,” which is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.