96-S 3363

Passed in Senate

May 23, 1996.


WHEREAS, Every child is precious and deserving of every opportunity to live in a caring and supportive world; and

WHEREAS, Every child is unique and in need of individualized attention; and

WHEREAS, The changing world in which we live often goes at such a rapid pace that some children and their special needs are overlooked; and

WHEREAS, A growing number of children suffer the devastating consequences of poverty, ignorance, neglect, abuse, and mental illness; and

WHEREAS, Approximately six to eight million children and youth in the limited United States have an emotional, behavioral, or mental disorder in need of treatment. This figure represents about twelve percent of all the nation's children. Of these, about half have problems that are severe and persistent. These problems take a number of forms. The children may be self-abusive or aggressive toward others; or they may be withdrawn, fearful or depressed. Some with the most serious disorders may be out-of-touch with reality and have unusual fantasies or hallucinations. The cause of these problems are largely unknown, and may vary from child to child. Current research indicates that biological, social, psychological and environmental factors are all important. A wide range of therpeutic, educational and social services are essential to address the needs of our children and families. Unfortunately, in many states and communities these services are not available. For many, the choice is between very limited out-patient services and restrictive and often unnecessary psychiatric hospitalization or residential care; and

WHEREAS, Emotional, behavioral and mental disorders cut across all income, education, racial, ethnic and religious groups. They are found among single parent and two parent families and in birth, adoptive and foster families. These families all have in common the need for accurate assessment and appropriate therapeutic, social and recreational programs for their mentally disordered children; and

WHEREAS, The overall health and mental health of every child in Rhode Island should be of concern to all Rhode Islanders; and

WHEREAS, Children suffering from mental illness experience excruciating and debilitating pain and anguish; and

WHEREAS, Mental illness in children can be alleviated through the kind and caring concern of families and friends and through effective treatment techniques and programs; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby declares the month of May to be "Care for Every Child's Mental Health Month"; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Senate congratulates and extends best wishes to the Department of Children, Youth and Families, the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health centers, the Rhode Island Parent Information Network, NYNEX, and the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Bank for their collective leadership in recognizing the special needs of children with mental illness and for their efforts in advocating that children with mental illness receive the care and treatment they truly deserve; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the director of the Department of Children, Youth and Families, the executive director of the Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health Centers, the executive director of the Mental Health Association, the president of the Rhode Island Parent Information Network, the vice president of the NYNEX Corporation in Rhode Island, and the president of Rhode Island Hospital Trust Bank.

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