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Techno-Savvy Public Awareness Campaign Enables Families to Send a Powerful Message About Children's Mental Health
Date:5/27/2008

Families E-Connect Statewide to Discuss Successes and Challenges

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 1 million children in California experience an emotional or behavioral disorder every year and more than 600,000 will not receive adequate treatment. A lack of knowledge, stigma, limited funding and inadequate clinical resources in communities delay diagnoses and treatment, putting children at risk for school failure and dropping out, alcohol and drug use, teenage pregnancy, criminal activity and suicide.

"We have children in our communities, homes, schools and churches whose mental challenges render them invisible, undetected and, subsequently, untreated," said Oscar Wright, chief executive officer of United Advocates for Children and Families (UACF). "We must connect with children, their families and the community at-large to provide early detection, treatment, hope, courage and inspiration."

On Wednesday, May 28, UACF will launch a statewide mental health video conference in five major regions of California. About 50 families at these local community sites will join in to kick off the first family-driven, grassroots, public-awareness campaign promoting early mental health identification and intervention.

"For families with mental health needs, there is no respite," adds Wright, whose family has been affected by mental illness. "Through technology, these families will have a visible platform through which to connect with one another, discuss their concerns and call out in unison for change to take place in the current and complicated mental health system statewide. This new coalition will be the start of a powerful family movement to end the social stigmas associated with mental health."

The unique e-connect video conference is appropriately themed, "Be a Friend of MIND ... Start Early(TM)!" It will go live from 5:45 - 7:30 p.m. PST on May 28 with families making their voices heard in the following five r
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SOURCE United Advocates for Children and Families
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