DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, city and state leaders, as well as medical and mental health professionals announced a new summit to address the mental health crisis in Ohio children.
“Building Resiliency,” will be a pediatric mental health summit that will take place in Dayton at Dayton Children’s on Sept. 26, involving a wide-range of people who interact with children on a regular basis to address the issue and come up with possible solutions.
“We are seeing in Ohio significant in our young people: anxiety, depression, and suicide,” Gov. DeWine said.
According to Gov. DeWine, Ohio ranks in the top five states in the country in adverse childhood experiences and trauma. The traumas can be caused by the death of a family member, opioid addiction of a parent, physical and mental abuse, and other events and factors.
In the latest budget, $675 million was given to schools for wraparound services in an effort to make mental health services available for every child in the state.
“If we can identify the trauma, if we can identify the child, we can help that child,” Gov. DeWine said. “Today, we are sounding the call of action to begin building resiliency.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said being open and honest about mental health will help take away the stigma around it.
“This community is going to need a lot of care in the coming weeks and years,” Whaley said. “Our children are the ones who are going to need it the most. We have to make sure they get the help they need.”
Calling Dayton Children’s “the best asset we have here in the City of Dayton,” Whaley said that Dayton will be the leader in the mental health discussion.
“We will be the place that takes the stigma out of mental health,” Whaley said. “We will be the place that through this tragedy, we will find ways to grow. And our city and our kids will be stronger for it. And we will do it because all of you are committed to it and committed to the future of Dayton.”
But it’s not just because of the recent mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District.
“The shooting, the tornadoes, and the drug epidemic,” said DeWine.
The new effort was jointly announced with the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, as well as Mayor Whaley. The announcement comes as the City of Dayton is grieving following the mass shooting in the Oregon District Sunday morning.
In response to the shooting, as well as being interrupted with chants of ‘Do something!’ at a vigil in Dayton, Gov. Mike DeWine laid out a number of measures and action points, including addressing the mental health crisis, particularly among children.