Clarity Child Guidance Center, sponsor of the advocacy campaign One in Five Minds, held a press conference May 6, 2015, during National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
Steven R. Pliszka, M.D., chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, spoke at the press conference and shared the current status of children’s mental health in San Antonio.
“Today, we have about the same number of psychiatric beds for children as we did 40 years ago, despite the enormous growth in population of the city,” Pliszka said. “Many times when parents call, they hear ‘all the beds are full.’”
Pliszka went on to talk about the cases where kids have to sit and wait – sometimes two or three days – in the emergency room before help becomes available. And yet, when the kids come out of the hospital, they do not receive the critical follow-up of mental health services that are needed.
Pliszka called for the recruitment of more mental health providers and for the allocation of more resources to tackle the issue of children’s mental health services.
The payoffs, he said, would include lower crime rates and greater productivity of our citizens.
Watch the replay of the One in Five Minds press conference. We challenge you to do something to make a difference today!