Children need more mental health services | GUEST COMMENTARY
Every day I hear stories about young people struggling with mental illness. These children, whose biggest worry should be whether they finished their homework, are silently burdened, with few resources to turn to for help. Far too often, interventions and support come too late and another child is lost to mental illness.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Most mental disorders follow a developmental course that typically starts early in life, with more than half of all adult mental health problems beginning before the age of 14. If we can connect children and their families to services early on, we can make a significant difference in the overall mental health picture in our state.
One barrier to accessing mental health is stigma. Too many fear that seeking treatment will lead to judgment or negative repercussions. Part of the solution must be to recognize that mental health issues affect people in all communities, including our own.