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Testimony: Public Hearing on Public Safety & Behavioral Health Services and Support for Youth

December 13, 2023

Amber Rieke, A Path Forward Project Lead, testified at the public hearing on Public Safety & Behavioral Health Services and Support for Youth. She highlighted how exposure to community violence deepens an ongoing youth mental health crisis.

She noted that – at the intersection of public safety and youth behavioral health – is DC’s broken public behavioral health system. It is a critical, but under-resourced, part of our community safety infrastructure. Amber urged the DC Council to make transformational investments in effective, comprehensive and sustainable behavioral health care that DC children and families need and deserve, and she pointed out that any response to concerns about public safety should be focused on supporting children and families.

A Path Forward for DC’s Public Behavioral Health System

Our newest report, A Path Forward: Transforming the Public Behavioral Health System for Children, Youth, and their Families in the District of Columbia, is a blueprint for creating a successful public behavioral health system — one that supports children and families and, in doing so, strengthens our entire community.

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