Voices’ Blog

“Remember kids mental health in budget negotiations”

Posted:  -  By: Voices for VA's Kids

The Richmond Times Dispatch published an op-ed on 3.20.14, written by Shannon M.Haworth, an amazing parent advocate and certified mental health professional in the Greater Richmond area.  Her message for lawmakers: Don’t forget kids’ mental health needs.  She urges Governor McAuliffe and our legislators negotiating the budget in the special session to invest in the children’s mental health system and include $1.5 million for children’s crisis services and child psychiatry over the next to years.   This funding builds upon the $3.65 million the legislature provided in the past two years that is already making a big difference for kids in crisis.

Here is an excerpt:

“But I am also worried legislators are on the verge of ignoring our youngest Virginians with mental health disorders. That’s troubling, given that half of all mental illness begins before age 14, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Treating kids when they first show symptoms is critical in keeping them on a positive trajectory of completing school, avoiding the juvenile justice system and avoiding such behaviors as substance abuse for which they are at higher risk. “

To check out other Op-ed’s, newspaper and radio coverage about children’s mental health from this session, go to the media section of our website.



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