© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Family Voice Network Targets Mental Illness in Children

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Mental health advocates in the area are creating awareness about emotional problems in children and the help that is available to them and their families.

The Family Voices Network says one in five children in Erie County suffers from some form of mental illness, ranging from Attention Deficit Disorder to depression. The network is a partnership involving government, service providers and community organizations. In the two years of its existence, spokeswoman Jennifer Klock says the Family Voices Network has worked to change the way children are treated. Klock says institutionalizing kids is no longer the answer.

"What we found is that children who are in institutions are not gaining any benefit," Klock said. "When they're treated in their own homes, and in the right manner, they thrive."

Monday is "Children's Mental Health Awareness Day." Klock says the observance is designed to let parents know that their children can be helped if they have access to the right services.

"It's not a disease of the lower income or upper income," Klock said. "It's something that can happen to any family, at any time. It can be quite devastating if they don't know where to turn.

"We're going to try to get information out there to tell families where to go if they need assistance."

Erie County is one of 61 communities across the country to receive federal grant funding for transforming the way treatment and care are provided.