Today, we commemorate the groundbreaking for the new Betty
Jean Kerr People’s Health Center Project Hope child and adolescent mental
This is an important project.
There are far too many children and adolescents with mental
health concerns who don’t receive the help they need.For
some, the clinic is on the other side of town.For others, the care is too expensive.For many, mental health is not an issue their families ever talk about;
the stigma is just too great.
This clinic, into which you have invested $3 million, will
change that for a lot of people.It will
bring hope and a range of mental health services – to worried parents, to
confused young people.
It is the right way to be a city.And it is also a practical, urgent
The facts show that young people with untreated mental
health issues are more likely to commit crimes.That’s why we have made increasing access to mental healthcare a
centerpiece of the city’s comprehensive
crime reduction plan.
The first step of the City’s PIER plan – which focuses on
Prevention, Intervention, Enforcement, and Reentry – is supporting families and
children in access to services like counseling and psychiatric care.
If we can get young people with mental illnesses into the
treatment they need at Project Hope, that might very well keep them from ending
up in a much different situation.
Children and adolescents who get quality mental health
treatment are much more likely to live safe, productive, and happy lives.