Nevada First Lady focused on helping kids with mental health issues

Reported by: Jaime Hayden
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Updated: 5/15/2014 6:30 pm
CARSON CITY, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Helping kids with mental health issues is what Nevada First Lady Kathleen Sandoval is making a priority for our state.

She hosted the second annual Children's Mental Health Summit at the Governor's Mansion in Carson City on Thursday. The summit focused on finding solutions to help kids with mental health issues.

"I think there's always a desire with the group that's here to constantly do more," said First Lady Kathleen Sandoval. "I mean we know this is a huge issue. We know it's difficult for families as well as the child who has mental health to deal with it and that we need to do more in our state."

Professionals from statewide health and wellness organizations joined Sandoval to discuss mental and behavioral health strategies, program effectiveness, and statewide collaboration opportunities.

"So how we can provide those services, whether it's through the school district, whether it's through the community, what will be the most effective way to get those services out to the children throughout the state," said Sandoval.

The First Lady said with the Sparks Middle School shooting police report showing the shooter had some mental health related concerns, that's just one reason these meetings are so critical. "It breaks my heart that you know, you think about if we could have done something. If we could have identified and made a difference, not just in that child's life, but every child's life that's struggling with mental health, the difference that we could make."

Sandoval also said her focus is to find more ways to help kids who are at risk for suicide. "Suicide is a huge issue and it causes more deaths in teens than any other thing and so that will be a huge focus of ours."

Sandoval said the next step is to take action on goals made and continue improving the mental health of kids in our community. She also said the office of suicide prevention is looking to offer mental health first aid statewide.
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