Little Kids, Big Problems, A Way to Help

Unfortunately, a tight budget has become par for the course in recent years. This week, as part of the annual rite of spring that is the House Budget Debate, legislators will have to make difficult decisions about what and how much spending to cut in Fiscal Year 2011.

In this fiscal climate, it’s hard for legislators to look beyond the next revenue projections. Still, as advocates and citizens, it is our responsibility to call on them to see the big picture.

Example: This article from Sunday’s Boston Globe Magazine.

Yes, providing mental health consultative services to pre-school children costs money.

But not spending this money today will cost the Commonwealth even more in increased Special Education costs in the future.

And if the money argument wasn’t enough, take a look at what the parents of these children have to say about their children in the article. The help they got turned their kids around.

Mental health services for young children should be a legislative and budgetary slam dunk: it saves money and helps kids. But in this economic environment? Nothing is for sure.

Legislators need to be aware of this program and the others like it. The Children’s Mental Health Campaign plans to spend from now until the end of the FY 2011 Budget process making sure that that happens.
-Matt Noyes

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