Child mental health is indeed a national issue. A 2001 report by the US Surgeon General has shown that one in ten children and adolescents suffer mental health problems. Worse, less than one in five of such children actually receive treatment.
The most important agenda for lawmakers is to evolve an act that seeks to improve and widen the scope of Behavioral Health Services for Children in the Commonwealth. The bill envisages making certain alterations in schools, preschool programs, and insurance coverage. The key motive of the bill is to uplift troubled children from wherever they are and enable the best care possible.
The bill would delegate issues of child mental health to the State Department of Mental Health. This way one organization is solely in charge of child welfare, in order to ensure consistent quality of care.
One part of the bill seeks to enable early intervention, assisting families to recognize signs of mental illness in the initial stages. The bill would instruct pediatricians to be alert for behavioral problems in children and such screening would be covered by Medicaid. The new Department of Early Education and Care will also be asked to provide behavioral health consultants to preschools and child-care programs to assist in such endeavours.