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CFS Attends Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental Health: Developing a National Agenda

At the request of the US Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, over 300 professionals, researchers, advocates, parents, and youth gathered in Washington DC, September 18 & 19, to develop an action plan to improve the mental health of children in this country. CFS Chair Bob Friedman and Lynn Pedraza were among the presenters at the conference while additional staff members Al Duchnowski, Mary Evans, and Krista Kutash were facilitators/recorders at break-out groups convened to develop concrete action steps that the Surgeon General can advocate for in his federal leadership role. At the heart of the recommendations offered to the Surgeon General were proposals for research and training very consistent with the de la Parte Institute's on-going work. In addition, there was an emphasis on developing partnerships between families, youth, practitioners, and researchers. "I also attended a banquet honoring the Friends of the National Institute for Nursing Research," said Mary Evans. "The Surgeon General was the featured speaker. Several times he noted his enthusiasm for the children's mental health meeting he had just attended and used it as an example of federal agency collaboration and stakeholder involvement." "This was an historic meeting in the children's mental health field," said Bob Friedman," and I am thrilled that our department played such a prominent role in it. Everybody who participated from here made an important contribution. Now if the recommendations are followed, it should be beneficial for those who are most important &emdash; children with emotional disorders and their families." "This week's conference is a very important step," stated First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in a letter prepared for the conference. "I look forward to your recommendations and to working with all of you to ensure that young people get the care they need to have the childhoods and futures they deserve."

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