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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2020 10:22 AM
From: Representative John T. Galloway
To: All House members
Subject: Children's Mental Health Ombudsman
Mental health disorders are becoming increasingly common among our youth. Approximately one in six children between ages six and 17 in the U.S. has a treatable mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety. Further, nearly half of children with mental health disorders did not receive counseling nor treatment. Research shows that children with mental health disorders face more frequent discipline and failure in school, which can lead to problems later in life. These issues can be mitigated, but only with early recognition and intervention.

It is imperative that we expand access to mental health resources for children and take steps to identify systemic issues in access to treatment. It is for these reasons and more that I am introducing legislation to establish a statewide children’s mental health ombudsman. This ombudsman will have the authority to:
  1. Advocate on behalf of children with mental health disorders;
  2. Identify barriers to effective mental health treatment;
  3. Monitor compliance with laws pertaining to children’s behavioral health services; and
  4. Receive, investigate and attempt to resolve complaints regarding violations by regulated entities and government agencies that may have an adverse effect upon the health, safety, welfare or rights of children.
Please join me in addressing the growing mental health crisis impacting our youth.

(Prior HB 2187, unanimously moved from House Human Services Committee)

Introduced as HB404