DENVER, CO– Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet released the following statement in response to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) coming together to declare a national emergency in children’s mental health, citing the serious toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on top of existing challenges.
“America’s young people had enough to worry about before a global pandemic upended the way we live, learn and work. As the leading experts in youth mental health have now declared, our children are in the midst of a full-blown behavioral health crisis,” said Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, Chair of the House Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services Committee. “I’m proud to say that, in Colorado, we’ve worked to confront this crisis head-on. This year, as part of our Colorado Comeback state stimulus package, we provided free mental health screenings and therapy sessions for our state’s youth, and are currently working on ways to make transformational investments in our state’s behavioral health system using federal relief dollars. Investing in the mental health of our young Coloradans could not be more important. As my colleagues and I continue the critical work of meeting our childrens’ behavioral health needs, I strongly encourage policymakers in Washington and around the country to do the same.”