Children’s mental health

Children’s mental illness is just that, an illness, and like any other illness children can acquire, we need to make sure they have proper care. Prior to the pandemic, 12.6% of New Hampshire youth have a behavioral health and/or developmental disorder and more than half have needed some type of care. More than ever, the need for proper behavioral health care is critical as we know the pandemic is having mild to severe negative impacts on the mental health of our children.

Currently there are 21 children boarding in an ER for a significant mental health crisis. This is unacceptable and could very well be addressed by our lawmakers. I am a parent of a child who has suffered from mental illness since age 4. He is now 17 and has had 7 psychiatric hospitalizations. The challenge of finding appropriate care is real and it is heartbreaking. As mother who has struggled alongside my son for 13 years, I urge our legislature to prioritize behavioral health care for NH, we cannot wait any longer. Please maintain funding to support behavioral health in our schools, protect mobile crisis and other community-based services, and ensure access to emergency and clinically appropriate residential care for children.

If we would have had these supports, life would be so different and more productive for my son. Mental illnesses are very real in our children and our families are struggling to find care, pay for care, and be supported. Everyone can do great things with the supports in place