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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.