At Child Trends, we believe mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. Mental well-being allows people to manage life stressors, fully realize their abilities, learn and work well, contribute to their communities, and thrive. Mental health can be influenced by a range of biological, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and societal circumstances. In the United States, mental health challenges and access to affordable and effective treatments are not evenly distributed: Black, Hispanic, Native American, LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning) youth, and youth with child welfare and/or juvenile justice involvement often experience greater challenges due to the effects of interpersonal and institutional discrimination.
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