Resolution on Children's Emotional Health and Mental Health Awareness

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Whereas, The National PTA has long been committed to providing improved mental health programs and services to children and youth; and

Whereas, The National PTA, through convention action in 1969, reaffirmed this commitment; and

Whereas, All children and youth have the right to mental health treatment; therefore be

Resolved, That the National PTA reaffirm its 1969 resolution on Children's Emotional Health*; and be it further

Resolved, That the National PTA and its branches encourage each community to make available mental health programs and services which will meet the needs of all children and youth.


Whereas, National PTA and its constituent associations are deeply concerned about the increasing number of children suffering from mental and emotional health and wellness conditions. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition; and

Whereas, Mental illness can negatively impact family life, personal happiness, acceptance of civic responsibility and completion of one’s education; 37% of students with a mental health condition, age 14 and older, drop out of school—the highest dropout rate of any disability group; and

Whereas, Schools and other educational agencies are feeling the adverse effects of mental illness on students, families and communities. The National School Boards Association reports “The odds are, therefore, that every classroom in every school has at least one student with a mental health disorder. Of those who have a mental health disorder, only one out of five will receive any treatment.” The majority of young people who do receive mental health treatment do so at school; and

Whereas, Mental illness and disorders affect so many children and teens ages 6 to 17 that 79% of them do not receive mental health care. The average delay between onset of symptoms and intervention is 8-10 years and 90% of youth ages 10-24 that died by suicide had an underlying mental illness; and

Whereas, An environment of acceptance of the reality, prevalence and effects of mental illness in the home, school and community environments is essential to the development of supportive approaches towards those who suffer from mental illness; and therefore be it

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent associations strongly encourage efforts to establish comprehensive community mental health providers to offer preventative and treatment services to children and adults and comprehensive school mental health programs that include adequate access to school psychologists, school counselors and school social workers; and be it

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent associations advocate for ongoing teacher and administrator training to improve the understanding of child emotional and mental health needs with emphasis on the importance of establishing a school climate conducive to good mental health; and be it

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent associations promote educational programs for parents and families to strengthen understanding and supportive home environment; and be it

Resolved, The National PTA and its constituent associations support efforts to provide education and other supports for school staff and professional development to assist with addressing mental health issues with emphasis on early detection; and be it

Resolved, That National PTA and its constituent associations support and encourage reducing the stigma of mental illness and build a of understanding around children and youth mental health.