On Monday, May 6, Mayor Norris Gerhart of the City of California signed a Proclamation designating May 5-11 to be California, Missouri's National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, urging acquainting people of meeting the mental health needs of children, youth and families.
The proclamation is signed on behalf of Burrell Behavioral Health, an organization with a clinic in Versailles and an office in California. Burrell Clinic Manager for Versailles and California Guy Van Drunen and Caseworker Danielle Taylor were present for the signing of the proclamation.
In part the proclamation speaks of the need to address the "complex mental health needs of the children, youth and families" which are fundamental to the future of the town and are a "critical responsibility" for the community.
Stating that half of all cases of lifetime mental illness occur before the age of 14 and three-quarters by age 24, recovery is real and early detection and treatment "promotes healthy adulthood and prevents disability."
The proclamation goes on to state, "Whereas, it is appropriate that a day should be set apart each year for the direction of our thoughts toward our children's mental health and wellbeing; whereas, Burrell Behavioral Health, through its unique to serving children and adolescents, is effectively caring for the mental health needs of children, youth and families in our community".