By Jen Curt, CTIPP's Director of Government Affairs
Last night, President Joe Biden delivered his second State of the Union address, which emphasized the importance of addressing mental health issues in America, especially for children. He noted that millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, and trauma and deserve better access to mental healthcare at school.
Addressing mental health through resourcing schools is an important starting point for creating systems change. We appreciate the President’s mention of mental healthcare at school. The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Education and Congress to ensure that mental health support for children in schools is truly trauma-informed, community-based, and prevention-focused.
And still, while CTIPP knows we must promote Trauma-Informed Schools, we must work beyond schools to transform other systems throughout communities, like afterschool programming, healthcare services, and workplaces, to create the kind of sweeping change that children and families need.
The President's call to action on mental health is timely and necessary, as America is facing a mental health crisis. The pandemic has disrupted people's lives, caused financial insecurity, and increased feelings of isolation and stress, leading to increased mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, racial, economic, and social injustices and natural disasters have added to the burden of collective trauma for too many individuals and communities.
To truly address the mental health crisis, we must tackle its root causes. This means providing better access to mental health care and addressing the underlying factors that contribute to trauma, such as poverty, inequality, and discrimination. By doing so, we can create conditions that help people, families, and communities heal and succeed.
President Biden's call for mental health support is a hopeful sign that America is moving in the right direction. Since President Biden’s last State of the Union address, where CTIPP applauded his national strategy to address mental health, we have seen Democrats and Republicans work together to advance solutions to trauma, including passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which funded community-based programs that support children, families, teachers, healthcare workers, emergency responders, and more to provide trauma-informed care.
By making mental health a priority, the President sends a message to all Americans that their well-being is valued and that support is available. This is a critical step in the journey towards a more compassionate society.
And by addressing the root causes of trauma, we can help individuals, families, and communities heal and succeed.