May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Did you know that 1 in 5, or 20% of Georgia’s children have a serious emotional disorder – that’s over 100,000 children. Did you know that estimates indicate that more than 80,000 children in Georgia have a mental health need and are not receiving support or treatment.
That's the 20/20 Rule for Georgia: 20% of our children have a mental health need and only 20% of those children are receiving support or treatment.
30% of Georgia’s youth in the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) custody have a diagnosable disorder and receive ongoing treatment, and 70% of youth in contact with DJJ have a mental illness.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in our state and the youngest child to commit suicide in Georgia was 8-years-old.
50% of children in Georgia age 14 or older with a mental illness drop out of high school. A high school diploma is not just a measure of educational achievement but an indicator of a chance at a more successful life.
The statistics go on an are staggering regarding how undiagnosed and untreated mental illness in children and adolescents impacts us all.
What can YOU do to improve the situation? Speak up about children's mental health. Shine the limelight on the behavioral health needs of our children and bring the conversation into the open.