To raise awareness about the importance of addressing the mental health needs of children, youth and families, Governor Maggie Hassan proclaimed today, May 9, 2013, as Children's Mental Health Awareness Day during the Children's Mental Health Matters Rally held at the State House.
"In the last 30 days, nine children per day on average are waiting in New Hampshire's emergency rooms for critical mental health treatment. That is simply unacceptable," Governor Hassan said. "Resolving the strains on our mental health system, especially for our young people, is one of the most pressing challenges facing our state. As we recognize Children's Mental Health Awareness day, let us recommit ourselves to making meaningful investments in helping those in desperate need of care."
The Governor's balanced budget proposal includes increased funding to move forward with the state's 10-year plan to strengthen New Hampshire's strained mental health system, including funds for children's mental health services. Ten new Assertive Community Treatment teams are included in the proposal, six of which are specifically for children in crisis.
Part of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, the Children's Mental Health Matters Rally was organized by the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and other child and family agencies and organizations throughout New Hampshire in order to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health and its role in a child's healthy development from birth.
Students from Contoocook School read the Governor's Proclamation at the rally today.