Children and mental health - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Children and mental health

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

As investigators peel back the layers of some of this nation's most tragic events, mental illness has often been blamed for otherwise inexplicable actions. Mental problems frequently go undiagnosed and untreated. But, there's an agency in Jackson that's working to change that at an early age.  

"It's the children that sit in the back of the classroom, the quiet ones that give no problems, that are the very ones that have suicidal issues," said Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant.  

With a love for children, the First Lady is a voice for those children in our state who suffer from behavioral health problems.  

"I don't think people realize how many families are affected by mental illness," said Bryant. "One in five children that have a problem, less than 20% are treated." 

Mississippi Children's Home Services began 101 years ago as an adoption agency. John Damon with the non profit agency says as society has become more complex so has its services.  

"We have campus based services where children come stay with us for a period of time," said Damon. "We have a lot of community based services. We go to their home or their school to do mental health care. We have educational services that help children with special education behavioral needs."  

Bryant says it is critical to increase awareness that behavioral problems do exist in children across our state. She says right now its focus is to relay the statistics and specifics to schools statewide.  

"If you see the work that MCH is doing with the children, it's amazing," added Bryant. "They get them ready to go back to school. It's not something they just treat with medication, they actually attack the issue and make these children where they go on to be productive citizens."  

If you are interested in volunteering for MCHS you can call 1-800-388-6247

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