Letter to the Editor: Prioritize Children’s Mental Health

The following letter was sent to media outlets by PBHG CEO Mary Pat Angelini on September 2, 2021.

Dear Editor:

With the start of the new school year this month, we all need to be focused not just on academics for our children, but their mental health as well. “We” includes parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, doctors, coaches, and everyone who connects with children or advocates for programs for children. Good health includes mental health, and children have been caught in the crosshairs of the often confusing and anxious messaging they hear. Mask mandates, increasing infections, fears of possible educational disruption – all impact our children every day. Uncertainty can create new anxiety or exacerbate existing anxieties.

We must prioritize prevention strategies, continue to focus on helping children understand and strengthen their emotional responses, give parents tools and guidelines for talking to, and listening to, their children, provide consistent counseling opportunities, and keep a close eye on children’s reactions and behaviors.

We all had hoped that this school year would bring a return to normalcy, but we are not there yet. It is indeed true that our children are our future – let us all work toward keeping them healthy and strong – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Here at Preferred Behavioral Health Group, we have a variety of school-based programs, prevention programs, and counseling and therapy for children. Contact us for more information – www.preferredbehavioral.org or 732-367-4700.

Mary Pat Angelini, CEO

Preferred Behavioral Health Group