National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Goldie Hawn Stands Up for Children’s Mental Health
On May 7th, NAMI jointly hosted the third annual Capitol Hill briefing in honor of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.
This year’s Congressional briefing, titled “Investing in the Educational Future of Youth with Mental Health Needs,” focused on raising awareness about school and community-based programs that effectively promote positive youth development, increase resiliency and support recovery, and demonstrate how youth with mental health treatment needs can thrive in their schools and communities.
Goldie Hawn, Academy-Award winning actress and children's mental health advocate, spoke during the briefing about the critical need for schools to better address the needs of students with mental illness and how school-based programs can effectively benefit the health and well-being of all students.
The briefing also featured Kathryn Power, director of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), who shared newly released data on positive outcomes achieved with school and community-based grant programs administered through CMHS. The panel also included Howard Muscott, Ed.D., director of the New Hampshire Center for Effective Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Dr. Muscott discussed positive outcomes that they have achieved in New Hampshire with Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBS) and his work in linking schools with the community mental health system.
The briefing was a tremendous success with many Congressional members and their staff in attendance and a packed briefing room.
After the briefing, Ms. Hawn joined NAMI and other advocates for a meet-and-greet with Congressional members who have been champions of mental health issues on the Hill. She then participated in multiple meetings with Congressional leaders. While on Capitol Hill, she spoke powerfully about the need to better identify children with mental illnesses early and the need to link them with effective services and supports, and promised to come back to engage in further advocacy on behalf of children’s mental health.
Mark your calendars for next year’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 6, 2010.