Delaware forum addresses ‘9-1-1 moment’ for children’s mental health challenges

Becerra, who was California’s attorney general before Biden put him in the Cabinet, said afterward that the president is committed to making mental health as much of a priority as physical health. He said the administration has committed billions of dollars toward addressing needs for people of all ages, and plans to allocate billions more.

“Let’s get rid of this stigma,’’ Becerra said during brief remarks after the roundtable talk. “Let’s get rid of this sense of pessimism. Let us recognize that from the top down, we have people who want to make a difference.”

One initiative was launched last month. It’s the nationwide mental health crisis hotline — 9-8-8.

“If you think you’re one of those who need help and you want to make that call, we will be there,’’ Becerra said.

A view of a roundtable discussion.
The roundtable included health professionals, patients, parents and politicians. (Cris Barrish/WHYY)

Before the roundtable, Becerra also participated in a discussion at Westside Family Healthcare in Wilmington about improving the health care system through partnerships with the National Health Corps and Public Allies. Both groups have members doing non-clinical work at Westside, which services a primarily low-income Latino population at its Wilmington clinic.

Becerra said Westside, which has a handful of clinics in Delaware, is a model for innovative care.

“Community health centers are critical, so anything we can do to make sure they’re better staffed – we want to do,” Becerra said.

Editor’s note: A previous version quoted U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester referring to the situation as a “9/11” moment. She was referring to 9-1-1, not the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. 

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