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NAMI's Position on Children & Adolescents with Mental Illness

NAMI believes that children and adolescents with brain disorders have the right to thrive in nurturing environments and deserve to have early diagnoses with appropriate treatment targeted to their specific needs.

  • NAMI urges parents and caregivers to seek information about treatment and services, including special education for their child who may be eligible because of a serious emotional disorder (SED), a developmental disability (DD), or a brain disorder.
  • NAMI calls for strong links between systems, including state and local mental health systems, public and private schools and juvenile justice systems.
  • NAMI declares that under no circumstances shall families be coerced or forced to relinquish custody of their children with brain disorders to obtain care, treatment, or education.
  • NAMI urges the development of smooth processes for the transition from adolescent to adult education and integrated community services and the full use of vocational programs that are appropriate for the age group.
  • NAMI calls for the immediate training of professionals specializing in treating and educating children and adolescents with brain disorders in scientifically based knowledge about these disorders.


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