Washington, DC, March 1, 2022 – The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) applauds President Biden’s commitment to children’s mental health and strongly supports the priorities outlined by the president in his 2022 State of the Union Address. AACAP asks the Administration to take the next vital step – to declare the crisis in children’s mental health a Public Health Emergency.
Dr. Warren Ng, president of AACAP, said, “The president’s plan is a great start. We ask that he also call on the Department of Health and Human Services to declare a Public Health Emergency to provide critical immediate resources to communities across the nation grappling with increasing rates of youth mental illness and waning resources.”
“For our 10,000+ physician members who are expertly trained to care for children and adolescents, the crisis is very real and will only get worse without brave and swift action,” he said. Ng added, “We are caring for young people with soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and suicidality that will have lasting impacts on them, their families, their communities, and all of our futures. The time for swift and deliberate action is now.”
AACAP, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Children’s Hospital Association jointly declared a national emergency in children’s mental health October 2021, setting the stage for our appreciation of the president’s plan and call for a national public health emergency declaration.
AACAP has long fought to strengthen the size and diversity of mental and behavioral health professional workforce, improve access to care through investment and innovation, and support healthy mental and physical development for all children and adolescents across all settings of care, especially for underserved populations like the youth of color, LGBTQ, and rural communities.
AACAP is committed to engaging its physician members and the families they serve to find solutions to this national crisis in children’s mental health and stands ready to work with the Administration in protecting our nation’s youth, families, and communities.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry promotes the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are the leading physician authority on children’s mental health. For more information, please visit www.aacap.org