At least 20 percent of children in the United States have a mental-health disorder.
Nothing changes during the transition into adulthood when one in five adults continue to struggle.
Only half ever receive even a minimal amount of therapy. The cost to the individuals as well as to society is enormous.
It’s time we paid closer attention to behavioral and mental-health solutions for our children.
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We have a responsibility to provide them with the tools and guidance necessary to live healthy lives into adulthood.
By teaching life skills and empowering them they gain self esteem and build self confidence.
Mental disorders aren’t a weakness — quite the contrary. But instead of setting children up for failure by forcing them into a box where they don’t belong and then vilifying them for failing, we need to encourage them to focus on their gifts and strengths.
Creating responsible public policy by providing services to children diverts them from lives in prisons, mental hospitals and rehabs. Instead, we can mold the leaders of tomorrow.
We have come so far in our nation as it relates to discrimination based on creed, color, gender and sexual orientation, but we have a long way to go as it relates to mental health.
It’s time for a national conversation.
Fred Menachem, CCO and president, external affairs and Julio Avael, CEO, NVP USA Healthcare, Doral