Here is an article John Kastan, Executive Director at PCC, wrote on Children's Mental Health Awareness Week.
May 12, 2012 was National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The purpose of the week was to increase public awareness of both the contributions of mental health treatments and services to child and family well-being and the continued challenge to assure that these treatments and services are accessible to all who need them, and that the delivery of these services is guided by the values and principles of quality, choice, equity, and the promotion of child and family empowerment.
Currently, more than 15 million children in the United States have a psychiatric or learning disorder, and less than half of them will ever get the help they need, under current circumstances. However, through the partnership of families, schools, community agencies, professional organizations, mental health professionals and government, this can change. Advocacy to our public officials to assure adequate insurance coverage and access to services can go a long way toward addressing the problem. Public education to encourage early assessment and identification for children exhibiting troubling behaviors, emotions, or barriers to learning can avert more serious problems. And changes in societal attitudes so that families are not fearful that they will experience stigma and discrimination if they ask for help can hasten children receiving the treatments they require.
At Peninsula Counseling Center we are proud to acknowledge our partners in the community – school, community organizations, elected and appointed government officials – as well as the Five Towns Community Chest and the United Way, among other funders – who help to bring increased knowledge, awareness, and access to services. We also honor our supportive Board and expert clinicians, who make it all possible. As PCC celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2013 next year, please join us in celebrating National Children’s Mental health concerns are real and treatable.
John Kastan, PhD