When Magaly was 11, her mother, Olga, found suicide plans on her phone. Six years later, they continue to navigate the challenges of Magaly’s diagnosis of depression and psychosis. Their journey touches upon the importance of early identification of mental health issues, access to care, and the struggles for support. Children with chronic and complex physical conditions often have mental and emotional issues that go unrecognized and untreated.
Engaging with families is vital to transforming the health care system and positively impacting the life course of vulnerable populations. Families have extensive experience in partnering with professionals to improve systems of care, are organized and connected across the country, and stand ready to assist at every level of next efforts for improvement. Learn how to meaningfully involve families at every level of health care systems and engage them as critical partners in designing policies that will improve care for all children.
Families of CSHCN are the experts on their children’s health care and on how systems and services could function more effectively to meet their needs. However, many family members lack the skills, confidence, and support to pursue advocacy and leadership roles in system change. That’s beginning to change in California.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to note that many children with special health care needs also require mental health care services. The California Legislature has proposed several bills that address children’s mental health. There are two current bills worth noting.