STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 15, 2017
Assemblywoman ANGELA V. MCKNIGHT
District 31 (Hudson)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblyman NICHOLAS CHIARAVALLOTI
District 31 (Hudson)
Assemblywoman PATRICIA EGAN JONES
District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblywoman JOANN DOWNEY
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblymen Rooney and McKeon
Designates first week of May of each year as “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.”
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Joint Resolution permanently designating first week of May as “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week” in New Jersey.
Whereas, Mental health is an essential part of a person’s overall health and ability to thrive in their community; and
Whereas, Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning; and
Whereas, Just as ailments of other organs of the body, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life; and
Whereas, Emotional disturbances can affect a child beyond their immediate emotional state, sometimes creating long-term mental health challenges that can affect physical, social, or cognitive skills; and
Whereas, Some characteristics commonly seen in children who have an emotional disturbance include hyperactivity, aggression, self-injurious behavior, social withdrawal, immaturity, and learning difficulties; and
Whereas, Children are, in many ways, more vulnerable than adults to mental illness, and children with mental illness have a far greater likelihood of being suspended from school, abusing drugs or alcohol, or ending up in the juvenile justice system; and
Whereas, Many children with mental health disorders do not receive treatment for their illnesses, due to poor understanding of mental illness and treatment options, stigma or lack of access to treatment; and
Whereas, Enhanced awareness of mental illness in children can help to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and help improve access to treatment that can help children lead full and productive lives; and
Whereas, The first week of May is recognized as National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week to promote positive development of children’s mental health; and
Whereas, The State of New Jersey can support the efforts of national and local groups advocating for children’s mental health by annually honoring “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week”; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The first week of May of
each year is designated as "Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week"
in the State of New Jersey in order to foster public awareness and
understanding of mental health and mental illness in children.
2. The Governor is requested to annually issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe "Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week" with appropriate activities and programs.
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.
This resolution designates the first week of May as “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week” in New Jersey to raise public awareness of mental health and mental illness in children.
Mental illness can adversely affect children in many ways, including increasing the likelihood of a child of being suspended from school, abusing drugs or alcohol, or ending up in the juvenile justice system. Many children with mental health disorders do not receive treatment for their illnesses, due to poor understanding of mental illness and treatment options, stigma or lack of access to treatment. The resolution intends to promote awareness in hopes of improving the lives of children who have emotional disturbances and other mental health disorders.