Governor Phil Bryant addressed children’s welfare and mental illness among children at Friday’s 2017 Children’s Mental Health Summit at the Hilton in Jackson.
The fourth annual summit, hosted by Canopy Children’s Solutions, gathered mental health and children’s well-being professionals from all across the Magnolia state.
The number of children in foster care has increased to over 6,000, according to Governor Bryant, but those numbers are expected to be at their peak.
“There are over 6,000 children in Mississippi’s foster care system, but over 1,200 of those are on adoption plans. Mississippi is leading the nation in adopting children out of our foster care system,” said Bryant.
The governor added that the strides made by Child Protection Services, Mississippi’s youngest agency, have proven themselves.
“We’ve received from the National Adoption Awards Center this week an award because 256 children have been adopted since 2016,” said Bryant. “That’s means 256 children now have permanent homes.”
Governor Bryant also discussed the need for community-based treatment for children with mental health issues, acknowledging that just because they are now with families, that doesn’t mean the illness or symptoms stop there.
“If you look across the continuum of healthcare… for children,” said Bryant. “More than half a dozen boards, agencies and commissions are out there. We’re trying to combine them to get… the best care for these children.”
Here’s a video of Governor Bryant’s discussion with mental health professionals at Friday’s summit: