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This is a time when there are extraordinary and immediate challenges to maintaining, much less improving, this country's inadequate response to children and families with mental health needs.
While an estimated 4 million American youths have a serious mental health problem that significantly impairs home life, school functioning and peer relationships, only one-third receive any care at all--and even fewer receive appropriate care.
Advocates for children and families should be extremely concerned about the threat to Medicaid in President Bush's budget and on Capitol Hill, as well as the reforms and budget cuts to mental health taking place in the states. Proposed policies now jeopardize what progress we have made in serving children, youth and families with mental health needs. The National Mental Health Association (NMHA) and other advocacy groups are investing considerable time and resources in an attempt to overcome these threats on …