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11/02/2022 08:00 AM

A Strong Advocate for Children’s Mental Health

Our community is engaged in open, important conversations about the well-being of our children. While it seems hard at times for various groups to agree on much, there does seem to be consensus that the mental health of youth matters, and there is a need for more support.

Our youth have been growing up through a pandemic, experiencing disruptions in learning and social development. They manage an awareness of threats to personal safety amidst school shootings and a hypervigilant educational environment involving regular lockdown drills. They are growing up with a 24/7 stream of underregulated social media and internet content.

In the face of this mental crisis affecting U.S. youth, State Senator Christine Cohen sought solutions. She partnered with her colleagues in Hartford to address the youth mental health crisis in a multitude of ways.

They passed legislation that funded the hiring of counselors, psychologists, nurses, and social workers in schools that have unmet mental health needs

They expanded services at school-based health centers to include mental and behavioral health services, enhanced school preparedness to respond to a student opioid overdose, made mobile crisis centers available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

They created an equity-based mental health fund aiding members of the public disconnected from mental health services.

And they funded important investments in early care and education, expanding access to early education and increases in wages for early childhood educators.

As a parent and a mental health professional, I am comforted knowing that we are represented by Sen. Cohen, a caring person who supports policy and investments informed by research and best practices. She is a kind, sensible, mature, and strong advocate for children’s mental health. Re-elect Christine Cohen, and elect the democrats on Row A, on Tuesday, Nov. 8 — your children will thank you!

Lauren Dennehy