ABCT Presidential Panel: Transformative Ideas to Address the Ongoing Youth Mental Health Crisis


Saturday, November 18 | 6:15 PM – 7:30 PM



Jill Ehrenreich-May, Ph.D., University of Miami



Riana Elyse Anderson, Ph.D., Columbia University and Harvard University
Miya Barnett, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
Jessica Schleider, Ph.D., Northwestern University


Rob Morris, Ph.D., Koko
Maggi Price, Ph.D., Boston College
Shirley Wang, A.M., Harvard University

“For most of ABCT’s history, the President has given an address to the membership at the annual convention highlighting their innovative scholarship or vital ideas to move our clinical science forward. While upholding the value of this rich history, this year, I wish to offer another paradigm of how this time at our convention could be spent. Specifically, as a youth treatment researcher, I have observed the steep increase in youth with mental health concerns, while the number of therapists equipped to address this crisis remains stagnant and our implementation of efficacious psychotherapies in community settings often fails. Youth and families, particularly those who are minoritized, marginalized, and/or historically underserved, are routinely being left without the resources we as a field have worked so hard to develop.

Thus, I’ve convened a “Presidential Panel” including a new generation of great thinkers and innovators addressing this youth mental health crisis head-on through a variety of game-changing ideas. Following a brief introduction, Drs. Riana Elyse Anderson, Miya Barnett, Rob Morris, Maggi Price, Jessica Schleider, and Shirley Wang will each present five-minute flash talks highlighting one “big idea” to address this crisis. Following this, I will moderate a discussion on next steps for collaborative, scalable solutions to inform both current clinical practice and future research ideas to aid youth in need.”


Categories: Dissemination & Implementation Science, Technology, Improved Use of Research Evidence

Keywords: Child, Implementation, Treatment

Basic Level of familiarity with the material

Participants earn 1.5 continuing education credits



Dr. Ehrenreich-May will introduce the current scope of the youth mental health crisis and reasons why our current approaches to youth psychotherapy are limited to aid youth in need.

Each of the panelists will present 5-minute flash talks on innovations in youth psychopathology, intervention content, dissemination, and implementation that may aid in reaching more youth with effective care or in terms of providing more inclusive care to youth and families.

Dr. Ehrenreich-May will then moderate a group discussion of next steps needed to bring these innovations to scale, with an eye toward immediate research, clinical, and policy-related steps that care reduce barriers to furthering these innovative platforms for addressing the ongoing youth mental health crisis.


At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:
    • Identify correlates of the increase in frequency of youth mental health problems around the world.
    • State reasons why our current approaches to gold-standard, youth psychotherapies like CBT are limited in their current capacity to address the current youth mental health care crisis.
    • Identify six ways in which innovative scholars and clinicians are working to address youth mental health problems, including innovations targeting racism-related mental distress, the expansion of a lay health workforce, leveraging social media platforms, crafting interventions that target multi-level stigma, building brief, scalable mental health interventions for youth, and using mathematical and computational models to transform youth mental health care.


Long-Term Goals:
    • There is a current crisis in terms of the frequency and impact of youth mental health problems around the world, particularly for youth that are historically underserved, minoritized, and/or marginalized. Unfortunately, our current conceptualizations of effective youth intervention are not able to significantly reduce this global burden of youth mental health challenges.
    • However, there are innovations in youth psychopathology, intervention, and implementation research that show potential for bridging some of the large gaps that currently exist in our mental health care systems and aiding more youth in need.



Recommended Readings:

Dobias, M.L., Morris, R.R., Schleider, J.L. (2022). Single-Session Interventions Embedded Within Tumblr: A Test of Acceptability and Utility. Journal of Internet Medical Research – Formative.

Coppersmith, D.D.L., Wang, S.B., Kleiman, E.M., Maimone, J.S., Fedor, S., Bentley, K.H., Millner A.J., Fortgang, R.G., Picard, R.W., Beck, S., Huffman, J.C., Nock, M.K. (2023). Real-time digital monitoring of a suicide attempt by a hospital patient, 80, 35-39. General Hospital Psychiatry.

Riana Elyse Anderson, Nia Heard-Garris & Ryan C. T. DeLapp (2022) Future Directions for Vaccinating Children against the American Endemic: Treating Racism as a Virus, Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 51:1, 127-142, DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2021.1969940

Barnett, M. L., Luis Sanchez, B. E., Green Rosas, Y., & Broder-Fingert, S. (2021). Future Directions in Lay Health Worker Involvement in Children’s Mental Health Services in the U.S. Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology, 1–13.

Maggi A. Price & Nathan L. Hollinsaid (2022): Future Directions in Mental Health Treatment with Stigmatized Youth, Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2022.2109652