Years of thoughtful planning, careful stewardship of the District’s financial resources, and dedicated work by elected leaders, appointed officials, and civil servants prepared the District to meet the challenges of COVID-19 with resiliency and resolve. To maximize the effectiveness of the District’s response, behavioral health must be incorporated alongside physical health as the emergency continues. The District’s public health and safety needs are not and will not be adequately met without addressing this emergency’s behavioral health dimensions.
That’s why more than 50 organizations and advocates, including Children’s Law Center, the District of Columbia Behavioral Health Association and its members, the Early Childhood Innovation Network, the Health Alliance Network, Parent Watch, and the Total Family Care Coalition, among other community advocates, collaborated to publish this joint letter urging action from Mayor Bowser and the DC Council.
The joint letter identifies the urgent actions needed to preserve and strengthen DC’s public behavioral health system for children, youth, and families during and after this public health crisis.