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Florida faces lawsuits over its new election law, a medical board fines an Indiana doctor for speaking about a 10-year-old's abortion, and Minnesota advocates say threats to cut SNAP funds are off the mark.

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The White House and Speaker McCarthy gain support to pass their debt ceiling agreement, former President Donald Trump retakes the lead in a new GOP primary poll, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is impeached.

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The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

VA Parents' Plea: Crisis Money for Kids

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Monday, March 17, 2014   

RICHMOND, Va. - When the General Assembly reconvenes next week, it will decide whether to okay a boost in mental health crisis funding for kids. Fairfax County mom Cristy Gallagher said the money is critical for families such as hers that have a child who is sometimes in desperate need of immediate psychiatric help.

"For children that pull knives out, children that run into the street or try and jump out of the window, our only option now, and in many places around the state, is to call the police," Gallagher said.

Gallagher's daughter suffers from bipolar disorder. The Virginia Senate already has approved an additional $1.5 million in crisis funding for children to its mental health care budget. Gallagher said the House needs to do the same.

There is only one mobile mental health crisis-response team for children in Fairfax County, and similar help is not available at all in other communities.

"This funding would add dollars to those crisis mobile teams across the state and additional money for psychiatric care for youngsters," Gallagher explained.

Voices for Virginia's Children Executive Director Margaret Nimmo Crowe said the General Assembly's past investments in mental health care for younger children have resulted in fewer kids needing to be hospitalized, but more funding is needed.

"It's a modest amount of money that gets an amazing return on investment," Nimmo Crowe said. "For some kids, this treatment is helping them stay in school and live up to their potential. For other kids, it's literally saving their lives."

The National Institute of Mental Health reports half of all mental illness begins before age 14. Nimmo Crowe said most mental health funding in Virginia goes to adults.




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