Alliance for Children's Mental Health CT
Smart Policy, Better Outcomes
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Policy & Advocacy

Policy & Advocacy


Legislative Priorities 2018





Legislative Priorities 2017

  • PRIORITIZE and INVEST IN early identification/prevention and intervention programs across child serving systems, particularly in schools, primary care, and early childhood programs. 
  • Take actions to implement goals of the PA 13-178 Children’s Behavioral Health Plan, which was mandated in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy, and carry out recommendations by the Sandy Hook Commission.
  • IMPROVE access to a continuum of COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES addressing low level-high level mental health needs of children across child serving agencies
  • INVEST in FAMILY CENTERED models of behavioral health services, including programs that treat parents’ health alongside children’s behavioral health interventions and treatment. 
  • CONTINUE Juvenile Justice Reform to help keep youth out of the juvenile justice system and stop the juvenile justice system from being the default system for youth with unmet behavioral health needs. 



  • Leverage existing Mental Health Resources during fiscal crisis
  • Improve access to comprehensive levels of community based services that are culturally competent;
  • Ensure progress and success of Children’s Behavioral Health Plan Implementation    
  • Maintain and grow effective system integration and care coordination that is family centered  Prioritize and invest in Early intervention/prevention, particularly in schools
  • Continue Juvenile Justice Reform, including increasing mental health services/supports, for justice-involved youth

Advocacy Projects

  • In January 2017, our Family Resource Center (FRCs) project was launched due to the generous funding of the Beatrix Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund. This project concerns revitalizing FRCs as hubs for getting mental health information/training, and resources to families with young children. We have held several meetings in January through February. with representatives from Child First and FRCs from East Hartford, Bloomfield, and New Britain concerning the framework of a pilot in these areas.·
  • Family Advocacy Project
  • The Alliance for Children's Mental Health plays a key role in moving forward with PA 13-178 Children’s Behavioral Health Plan a plan to improve children's behavioral health services and systems across the state.
  • Our Mental Health Awareness Youth Project at Killingworth-Haddam High School, which began in September 2016, has continued to develop.
    • The purpose of this project is to develop a sustainable model for high school youth to engage in mental health awareness and participate in the legislative process. 
    • The project is being led by a graduate student at the School of Social Work at Quinnipiac University. Through collaboration with Youth and Family Services in Killingworth-Haddam, ACMH leads a bi weekly student group which discusses mental health topics, such as stress, stigma, and mental health as part of overall good health.
    • A member from ACCESS Mental Health, a consultative services program between psychiatrists and pediatric doctors in the primary care setting, to discuss art therapy. She provided painting from youth in recovery about their mental health journey.
    • In April 2017, the students will be coming to a reception at the state Capitol and the Legislative Office Building to meet with Senator Kennedy and Representative Scanlon regarding mental health awareness and the art therapy project. To conclude, the project, the students decided to create a video that will be entered in their high school video contest on breaking down stigma/mental health awareness.