For Immediate Release

Contact: Rob Grant, Communications Director
202.966.7300, Ext. 119
rgrant@aacap.org

Caitlyn Camacho, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
202.966.7300, Ext. 154
ccamacho@aacap.org

Washington, D.C., January 16, 2013 - The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) applauds President Obama on his proposals to reduce gun violence, which include making improvements to our nation's children's mental health system.

President Obama's Plan to Protect our Children and our Communities by Reducing Gun Violence specifically includes steps to improve mental health services by:

  • Reaching 750,000 young people through programs to identify mental illness early and refer them to treatment;
  • Training more than 5,000 additional mental health professionals to serve students and young adults;
  • Launching a national conversation to increase understanding about mental health;
  • Finalizing the regulations for the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008; and
  • Making sure millions of Americans covered by Medicaid get mental health coverage, specifically screening services to detect mental health conditions.

The Plan comes from recommendations made by Vice President Biden's gun violence taskforce, which met with mental health groups, including AACAP, last week. AACAP advocated for policy changes to increase access to mental health services, many of which were included in the President's plan.

To see a copy of AACAP's original letter to the Vice President click here.

As President Obama said following the Sandy Hook shooting, "We are going to need to work on making access to mental health care as easy as access to a gun."

For additional information regarding AACAP's efforts or to speak to an expert, please contact Caitlyn Camacho, Communications & Marketing Coordinator at ccamacho@aacap.org.

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Representing over 8,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children's mental health.

AACAP Members actively research, diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents and their families. For more information please visit www.aacap.org.