Brittany Smith


Exploring the Impacts of COVID-19 on Adolescent Mental Health in the U.S.


This 2024 Capstone Project focuses on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent mental health in the U.S. The intent of the Capstone Project is to provide insight into key trends of adolescent suicide rates and behaviors and their relationship to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a focus on identifying the factors contributing to post-COVID-19 adolescent suicidality. Particular attention is given to the disparities among racial and ethnic minority youth as recipients of mental healthcare. Intersectionality between youth, suicidal behaviors and post-pandemic symptomology will seek to be identified and understood. Additionally, evidence-based measures for intervening upon and treating acute mental health crises in adolescents are addressed. Current gaps in the system and interventions to address systemic gaps are suggested.


Brittany Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from Belhaven University and The University of Southern Mississippi respectively. She is a current doctoral candidate at The University of Kentucky with an emphasis in Administration and Leadership. Brittany is currently employed by Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas and works as a Family Intake Therapist in a pediatric emergency
department. She is also the founder of Making Mental Health, PLLC and works as a private practice therapist with young adults.

Brittany’s prior population experience includes private practice, emergency medical psychiatric care, crisis intervention, inner-city enrichment and the provision of community mental health services to marginalized youth, and adults, and families-including children and families involved with state social services, foster care and adoption, and group home settings. Brittany is amidst completing her doctorate, and her research focuses include crisis intervention, family systems, equity, inclusion and diversity work, mental healthcare access, and the effects of CVID-19 on mental health, particularly suicidality. Her Capstone Project focuses on COVID-19 impacts on adolescent suicidality.