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Thursday, May 18 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Session 8 Plenary: Combating Mental and Behavioral Health Problems in Youth — How Innovative Digital Media Strategies Can Increase Positive Outcomes

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By nearly every metric, youth mental health and behavioral health is worsening. During the 2020–2021 school year, over 60% of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health problem, according to the Healthy Minds Study, which collects data from 373 campuses nationwide. As most health practitioners and community leaders are aware, mental health is often interlinked with substance use disorders, and vice versa. These numbers continue to rise and serve as a national call to all specialists — in every discipline — to become equipped to battle this growing youth crisis. Today’s youth must gain heightened sensitivity of unhealthy behaviors, and be supplied with the resources and support to overcome challenging odds. This session explores the rise in digital media, and its increasing effectiveness in spreading awareness and delivering health messaging to Millennials, Gen Z, and generations beyond. Over 98% of college students currently use social media, some spending more than six hours per week doing so. By leveraging digital media strategies and tools to reach these audiences, we’ll be meeting youth right where they are with positive messaging for healthier outcomes nationwide.

avatar for Chelsea MN Thomas, M.S.

Chelsea MN Thomas, M.S.

Scholarly Assistant Professor, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication Washington State University
Chelsea Thomas, M.S., is a professional communicator with more than 15 years of strategic communication experience in both the academic and industry realms. Her expertise centers in social media and health promotion, with a focus on enhancing the two-way communication of health-related... Read More →

Thursday May 18, 2023 11:00am - 12:00pm CDT
Ballroom B/C