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Youth Mental Health



Mecklenburg County Mental Health ToolKit - Youth & Families

The goal of the Children’s Alliance is to educate, connect, and advocate. This May, as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are focusing on mental health. Our members believe that we can impact the most children and families in our community through connection, education, and advocacy. Good mental health is at the heart of a successful and healthy child, for both the child and the adults in their lives.


May is the annual campaign to raise awareness and understanding of mental health issues. The month-long observance aims to educate the public about the importance of mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. 


As such, we want to use our energy to highlight the importance of investing in your mental health this month through education, Advocacy, and Sharing resources for our Mecklenburg County community. 


We have created a Mecklenburg County-focused toolkit that offers tips to educate, resources to connect, and opportunities to advocate locally for mental health services in our community. Too often, people wait to treat mental health issues when there is a crisis.


When more people in our community are educated on mental health and its importance, we destigmatize those who suffer from mental health issues.


According to VCU School of Medicine, the average delay between the onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years. In the U.S., 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness each year, and less than half of them receive treatment. 


Here are some ways to fight stigma and seek help:

Seek help: Don't let fear of judgment stop you from getting the help you need.

Share your story: Speaking with someone, like a licensed professional or trusted friend, can help you break down your feelings together.

Therapy: Therapy is a powerful tool to heal the mind.


Fast Facts (From NAMI Toolkit)

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, and only half of them receive treatment.

  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience a serious mental illness each year, and only two-thirds receive treatment.

  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth experience a mental health condition each year, and only half of them receive treatment.

  • 50% of all lifetime mental illnesses begin by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

  • The average delay between the onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.

  • 122 million people live in Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas. In 2020, 1 in 5 young people reported that the pandemic had a significant negative impact on their mental health.

  • In 2020, there was a 31% increase in mental health-related emergency department visits among adolescents.

  • As of 2021, 1 in 10 young people under age 18 experienced a mental health condition following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

  • More than three-quarters of Americans (76%) say they are not content with the status of mental health treatment in this country. 

  • 7 in 10 Americans (72%) agree that people with mental health conditions face discrimination in their everyday life. 

  • Only half of Americans (53%) say they are familiar with the U.S. mental health care system. 


Data from SAMHSA, CDC, and others. Find sources for this resource at and in NAMI’s Poll of Public Perspectives on 988 & Crisis Response (2023).


Mental Health Resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 immediately. Uncomfortable on the phone? You can chat with the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at or dial 988 to be connected to a trained mental health counselor. Know you are not alone. There is help available, and there are people who care deeply about your well-being. 

Along with the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, there are also several options in Charlotte for finding help for you or someone you know who is experiencing a mental health crisis or thoughts of suicide. Some of those options include:


Publishers: Need ideas for places to check for crisis and suicide prevention help in your town? Try:

  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has school-based mental health services in several of its schools. You can find the full list at this link. This program allows students to receive mental health services during the school day. These services are provided by community mental health partners who have more extensive training than school-based counselors. You can learn more about this program at this link. 

  • NAMI Charlotte: Mobile Crisis line 1-704-566-3410. NAMI provides support to people struggling with mental health issues and their families. It also helps provide community education, advocates for equal treatment in healthcare and the workplace for people with mental illnesses, and so much more. You can learn more about the services that NAMI Charlotte offers and get involved by visiting its website. 

  • Atrium Health Behavioral Health: This is a 24-hour psychiatric mental emergency room facility in our area. This facility provides services for inpatient and outpatient needs. 
    501 Billingsley Road
    Charlotte, NC 28211
    Phone: 704-444-2400

  • The Smith Family Behavioral Health Urgent Care: The BHUC is open 24/7/365. No appointment is needed, and a person can walk in.  A person may be experiencing a crisis or need intervention to prevent a crisis.

616 Colonnade Drive
Charlotte, NC 28205

Phone: 704.273.3942

  • Teen Health Connection: This facility is dedicated to local teens' mental and physical health. It provides behavioral and healthcare services. Teen Health Connection has a Center for Disordered Eating, a Center for Gender Health, and Teens and Tots for teen parents. Teen Health Connection also partners with Atrium Health.


You can exhaust yourself when you start looking into available services. Understanding resources that are available to you or someone you love when they are in need is important.




You can exhaust yourself when you start looking into available services. Understanding resources that are available to you or someone you love when they are in need is important.




Suicide Prevention/Crisis Line


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 24hr



Alliance Health



Alzheimer's Association 24hr



Atrium Health 24hr Call Center



Child Protective Services

980-31-HELPS (43577)


Domestic Violence Hotline (National)



Human Trafficking Resource Center



Magistrate's Office (24-Hours)



Mobile Crisis Services: Mental Health Crisis

704-566-3410 (opt. 1)


NAMI Charlotte

704-333-8218 (local) / 800-950-6264 (national)


Narcotics Anonymous (NA) 24hr



National Suicide Prevention Hotline

800-273-TALK (8255)


NCServes: Support for Active Military, Veterans, and Families



Novant 24-hr Behavioral Health Crisis/Referral



Safe Alliance Crisis Hotline: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault



Safe Alliance Victim's Assistance



Social Security Administration



Suicide Text Line

text Hello to 741741


The Arc of NC (IDD Help):



The Relatives Hotline (youth & teens)



Treatment Court (Step)



Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQIA suicide helpline)



Veterans Crisis Hotline

988 press 1


Veterans Homeless Hotline



Veteran Service Office (VSO)



Victim’s Assistance and Rape Crisis



Warm Line (PRN) Peer Support



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Caregiver / Parents

Foster Parent











Teen Health Connection


Nationally, 1 in 5 adolescents have had a serious behavioral health disorder at some point in their life, with half of all mental health problems beginning by age 14. Teen Health Connection has seven behavioral health clinicians, each one bringing a unique skill set to meet the needs of teens. We also have a triage clinician, available to patients during medical visits to provide brief education, intervention, and to connect patients to treatment and community resources.

















YMCA Teen Mental Health Resource Center





















Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Services (IECMH)

Mecklenburg County Public Health provides comprehensive assessment and short term (10-16 weeks) evidence-based services for children ages birth to 3, addressing early trauma, attachment, behavior concerns, and parenting support.

Address: 3205 Freedom Dr


Make a Referral: 704-336-7130

The main contact is Ariana Shahinfar:



NAMI : National Alliance of Mental Illness

  • A nationwide peer-support service, NAMI Helpline, offers resources for people with various mental health conditions, including support for their caregivers and families.



NAMI Teen and Young Adult Resource Directory

Local: Family Support groups:


Mental Health America will help you find support groups near you that are specific to your situation, in addition to connecting you with online support communities. MHA provides family support services to parents of children with behavioral, emotional, or mental health needs; peer support for adults with chronic mental illnesses; and mental health education and preventative training to the broader community. MHA’s programs bring together mental health consumers, parents, advocates, and service providers to address systemic issues impacting mental health.

  • MHA Central Carolinas Affiliate: 3701 Latrobe Drive, Suite 140, Charlotte, NC 28211


  • School-based Mental Health Services: Thompson offers counseling services for school-aged children in the school setting through a partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. The CMS School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) Program collaborates with CMS, Mecklenburg County, and eight local mental health agencies. Currently, Thompson provides outpatient therapy services at the following schools:

    • Dorothy J Vaughan Academy

    • Elizabeth Traditional Elementary

    • JM Alexander Middle

    • Phillip O Berry Academy of Technology

    • Randolph Middle

    • Steele Creek Elementary

    • Sterling Elementary

    • Turning Point Academy (Middle and High)

    • Vance High

    • Westerly Hills Academy

    • Wilson STEM Academy


To initiate treatment, the student, guardian, or staff member should express concern about the student to a student services staff member. https://www.thompsoncff. org/about/




A collaborative initiative to bring urgent and preventive mental health and drug/alcohol-related services to Mecklenburg County residents during the time of COVID-19, and beyond.





CALL 988, Text or Chat the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline if you or someone you know need help with a mental health crisis.



In Crisis?

Mecklenburg County Mobile Crisis line:

24/7 Alliance Health Crisis Line at 800-510-9132 

Call 9-1-1  and ask for a “CIT-Trained Officer”

Call or text 9-8-8 or chat

Text “NAMI” to 741741 for 24/7, confidential, free crisis counseling.

Call the NAMI HelpLine, M-F 10 am – 10 pm ET

1-800-950-NAMI (6264)



Crisis Services for Mecklenburg County are managed by:
Alliance Behavioral Healthcare


Phone First…
Alliance Behavioral Healthcare Access Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customer Service Specialists will assist you to find a crisis provider that is well-matched with your needs. Your local number is: 800-510-9132
If you already have a service provider, call them first. Providers who know you are usually best prepared to assist you in a crisis.

Have Support Come to You…
Crisis situations are often best resolved at home. Mobile Crisis Teams are available 24 hours a day in all counties. Professional counselors will speak with you and your family during a visit. They have an average response time of 2 hours. This service is provided by:



Go To A Crisis Center…
Many counties have a specialized crisis center where you can walk in for a crisis assessment and referrals to additional services. Appointments are not needed. The crisis center in your county is provided by:



5700 Executive Center Dr. Suite 110 Charlotte, NC 28212

Monday -- Friday – 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m


































Please use the provided official hashtags, including #EndtheWaitMeck  #MentalHealthAwareness, #MentalHealthMatters, #EmotionalWellness, and #SelfCare. These hashtags will help promote key messages and make it easier for people to find and engage with the conversation.



Promote Resources: Please promote resources to share important information about mental wellness and support for those experiencing or living with mental health problems.

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