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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Call for Mental Health Advocacy

My dear friends, peers and colleagues, As you are probably aware of, the state of Arizona is undergoing a challenge in regards to budget and income.

Cuts are taking place throughout the state that are potentially devastating to families. Many social service and children’s system advocates are already making their presence known to lawmakers at the capitol, trying to make them aware of the human cost of these cuts, the long range increase in costs be taking away preventative services, and pushing the idea that there are other ways of dealing with the current funding issues than lump sum cuts.

One of the missing pieces of this puzzle is a united advocacy effort for Children’s Mental Health. The pieces are there, but no one has tied them together. With some of the access avenues for families to attain services being cut or threatened, such as non-title 19 funds and KidsCare, the urgency for a united voice for families has exponentially increased.

I would like to start the ball rolling on this, but I can’t do it alone. I would like to put together a few different things, like a legislative alert mailing list, a citizen’s advocacy training on how to approach legislators, and a day at the Legislature.

If you would like to be involved, or have something you can contribute to this effort, please let me know at or 623-570-7232 This can be done on volunteer time with no funding, but one person can’t do it alone. Please distribute this, and we can let the Capitol know the importance of Children’s Mental Health services to Arizona's future!

Krista Kathryn Long, BSW Parent & Advocate