The numbers are staggering:
• Of the 140,000 young people in Massachusetts who need mental health services each year, more than 100,000 do not get them.
• Suicide remains the third leading cause of death among young people aged 10-24.
• Tragically, 90 percent of children who take their own lives have a diagnosable and treatable mental disorder at the time of their death.
• Nearly 50 percent of students with a mental disorder drop out of school.
On Wednesday, June 3, families of children with mental illness, doctors and nurses, educators and social workers, lawmakers, other child advocates and community members will gather in Boston to share their personal experiences and discuss recently passed legislation that aims to fix a broken system.
The event, which is open to the public, will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the main auditorium of English High School, 144 McBride Street, in Jamaica Plain. It is one of more than a dozen forums organized across the state recently to educate parents and providers about Chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008. The legislation, signed last year by Governor Deval Patrick, is designed to address shortfalls in the children’s mental health system and remove many of the barriers children and families face when seeking care.
The forum is sponsored by the Boston Public Health Commission, Health Care for All, and Children’s Hospital Boston.