Young adults with mental health challenges need the support of federal programs

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Greetings Network faithful. We had another productive meeting with Senate Appropriations staff on Friday to discuss services and supports for youth in transition. It is clear that we need to educate, educate, educate. Special thanks to Raphaelle Alexander of Youth M.O.V.E. National for participating and sharing her perspective on a balanced approach to funding services and supports for youth in transition. This next generation of leaders (of which Raphaelle is a part) is truly inspiring and gives this old guy great hope for the future.

Special thanks to all who have answered the call and have volunteered to help with education efforts. We have prepared an infographic for you to use in your meetings with elected officials about the need for a balanced approach when funding federal initiatives focused on youth in transition. The text of the infographic is below and you can download the pdf version of the infographic here.

One step at a time folks. Consistency and persistence is key. Keep on pushin'!

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

Children’s Mental Health Network

Young adults with mental health challenges need the support of federal programs
The trend towards focusing on the language of “mental illness” and pairing that with violence and guns in the speeches and rhetoric in the popular press and from policy-makers should trouble all of us. Typically accompanying such rhetoric is a call for evidence-based practices that focus on young adults with serious mental illness. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with that. Our concern is that we may see a swing towards a narrower population of focus for funding opportunities and an increase in psychiatric hospitalization approaches. Less than 4% of mentally ill individuals commit a crime. People with psychiatric disabilities are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent crime (Appleby, et al., 2001) The wonderfully resilient and healthy efforts taking place in communities focusing on transition-age youth with mental health challenges (not necessarily a serious mental illness) are just as important as those exponentially more expensive services that are absolutely necessary for a small percentage of youth.

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