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Children's Issues

Position Statement 38: Perinatal Mental Health

Policy

A major component of health care reform in the United States is the imperative to deal with our appallingly high infant mortality rates and the evidence they reveal of a medical care system that is failing to meet the needs of parents and very young children. As of 2011, the U.S. ranked 34th in the world, with 6.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, twice the infant mortality of Singapore, Iceland or Japan.1

Position Statement 47: Custody Relinquishment

Policy

As of 2002-2004, when this issue last received critical federal attention from the General Accounting Office and the Congress, more than 12,700 children were placed into state child welfare or juvenile justice systems each year in order to gain access to mental health care.1 Although some states2 now outlaw this practice for child welfare,3 and some states and school districts have provided funding to deal with the fundamental problem of lack of resources, substantial anecdotal i

Position Statement 43: The Federal Role in Services that Address the Health and Wellness of Children, Youth, and Families

Policy

With the recent understanding that prevention and promotion programs can be effective in reducing the prevalence of mental health and substance use conditions in American society,(1) it is important for the federal government to support comprehe

Position Statement 48: Prevention of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in Young People

Policy

The evidence regarding the benefits of systematic prevention and promotion programs is strong, and Mental Health America believes that the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental health and substance use conditions should be central to the nation's public health agenda[1,2].  Evidence based programs have been developed that will have positive effects not only on an individual's health but also on multiple social h

Position Statement 46: Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools

Policy

Mental Health America (MHA) places a high priority on early, equal and effective access to comprehensive mental health services and supports and therefore strongly opposes zero tolerance policies in schools.  A “zero tolerance policy” is a school or district policy that mandates predetermined consequences or punishments for specific offenses that are intended to be applied regardless of the seriousness of the behavior, mitigating circumstances, or situational context.1 MHA’s concern

Position Statement 45: Discipline and Positive Behavior Support in Schools

Policy

As a leading advocate for the mental health and wellness of children and adolescents, Mental Health America (MHA) opposes corporal punishment1 and zero tolerance2 policies and supports individuated school disciplinary processes that take account of mental health conditions and emotional disturbances and promote the healthy mental and emotional development of our country's youth.3   In particular, MHA supports schoo

Position Statement 44: Residential Treatment for Children and Adolescents with Serious Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

Policy Position

Some residential treatment programs, especially community-based non-profit residential programs, provide excellent care and communicate candidly with families.

Position Statement 42: Services For Children With Mental Health Conditions And Their Families

Policy

Mental Health America (“MHA”) is committed to the principle that mental health is an essential part of a child’s overall well-being and that a full array of services should be available to children with mental health conditions and their families. This includes mental health and substance use prevention, early identification, treatment, and long-term support, as needed, regardless of how he/she and his or her family enter the service delivery system.

Position Statement 41: Early Identification of Mental Health Issues in Young People

Policy

Early identification, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of mental health or substance use conditions1 in school-aged young people can alleviate enormous suffering and heartbreak and help young people to benefit from their education and to lead productive lives. No one contests that state and federal systems that serve young people like juvenile justice and child welfare need to engage in comprehensive screening, but several states have sought to ban mental health screening in schools.

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