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Partnering to Provide Mental Health Services to Children
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Amelia Franck Meyers, CEO of Alia Discussing Childhood Trauma
Desare Frazier

Advocates for children's mental health services in Mississippi, are meeting about ways to improve services and forge partnerships in the face of the state's budget crunch. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.

Lisa Fuller has two girls ages 17 and 14. The 17-year old has Asperger's Syndrome, a type of Autism. Her 14-year old has ADHD, anxiety and depression. After exhausting treatment options in Mississippi, she sent the children out of state to receive the care they needed. Fuller's speaking to hundreds of mental healthcare advocates about the challenges she faces at a conference in Jackson.

"My goal and my passion going forward is that all families in our state and in our country have access to the same quality treatment programs that my children have experienced. There's a great deal of cost involved, said Fuller.  

Dr. John Damon is with Canopy Children's Solutions, which provides services and sponsored the event. He says nationally, 1 out of 5 people have mental health challenges, 80 percent go untreated. Damon says the state's tight budget means providers have to partner to help Mississippi families obtain treatment.

"If we don't work together we can't be successful for our kids, so we try to put egos aside, try to put politics aside and we're trying to put kids at the front and center of how do we do the best job we can, for our children in Mississippi" said Damon.

Damon says they're also working with churches and community volunteers to provide support and mentor families.