As you know, together we were successful in advocating for new funding for children’s mental health in the next two-year budget. It’s not over yet; Governor McDonnell is currently reviewing the budget and the General Assembly will reconvene on May 14 to review his changes.
Regardless of the final outcome, we want to thank the supportive legislators who have gotten us this far! Our primary budget patrons, Senator Emmett Hanger and Delegate John O’Bannon, did an amazing job of advocating for this funding with their counterparts on the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees. Other major supporters along the way included Senator Janet Howell, Senator John Watkins, Senator Walter Stosch, Delegate Dickie Bell, Delegate Bob Brink, Delegate Steve Landes, and Delegate Chris Jones, just to name a few.
So here’s what we want to do: We want to give each of the key legislators who championed children’s mental health, along with the legislative staff members who helped them, a packet of hand-written thank you notes from Virginia citizens who appreciate their efforts. We need your help!
Who should write?
Everyone: Especially, family members of children with mental health challenges, the children and youth themselves, providers, clinicians, teachers, faith leaders, anyone who care about this issue.
– This is a case in which hand-written letters are going to be much more effective than email. Please write a brief note, on any kind of paper, to say thank you. We will copy it and distribute it to them, so please start your letter with “Dear Virginia legislators”.
– The money allocated is $3.3 million for child psychiatry and community-based crisis response services, so you can tie your comments to how helpful these services might be to your family (or clients or students).
– If your child has aged out of the children’s mental health system, you can still write to let them know how much you appreciate the focus they put on children’s mental health this year.
– Please include your full name and home address. Legislators like to see if people live in their districts.
– Mail your letters to me: Margaret Nimmo Crowe, Voices for Virginia’s Children, 701 E. Franklin St, Suite 807, Richmond, VA 23219
I’d like to have all the letters to me by May 24th.
As always, if you have questions, please contact me at 804-649-0184 ext 23 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margaret Nimmo Crowe, Campaign Coordinator
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