January 29, 2023

Santa Monica, California – National Governors Association (NGA) Chair, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis led a roundtable discussion with those on the front lines of youth psychiatric care to promote the NGA’s initiative Chairmen to advance: Strengthening the mental health of young people. Tammy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, First Partner of California, and Kristin Cooper, First Lady of North Carolina also spoke at the event and highlighted holistic efforts to support children and parents – including Tammy Murphy’s Nurture NJ -Initiative focused on maternal and infant health.

“The adolescent mental health crisis is not confined to New Jersey or California — it is an issue that transcends both state and party lines.” said Governor Murphy. “From small towns to big cities, parents, children and educators face this struggle in their daily lives. We need a comprehensive approach to not only connect young people to resources, but to empower parents and teachers to recognize signs of mental health problems and provide positive support. By holding these gatherings with governors from across the country and across the aisle, we work to raise awareness, take action, and find real mental health solutions that each state can make its own. “

“Improving mental health and putting people first are top priorities in Colorado, where we have worked on bipartisan policies to give our young people the tools they deserve to manage their mental health, including through our imattercolorado.org, which provides six free psychological counseling for students and improving our behavioral health system,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. “Governor Murphy’s timely and important initiative provides an important forum for governors and states to come together, share examples of what is working and learn how we can reach more young Americans who need mental health support. “

“Both adolescent mental health and maternal and child health are crises that have afflicted our nation’s families for far too long,” said Tammy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey. “We are grateful that our platforms allow us to shed light on these issues and make necessary changes that will benefit our constituents. Regardless of political party, we all need to come together to find and provide solutions and resources for each of these communities in each state.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn back the curtain on the severe mental health challenges facing our nation, especially as it pertains to our children.” said California first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “As a country, we have a responsibility to ensure that our youth are supported and cared for, mentally and physically, so that they have the best start in life. Here in California, we are working to address the adolescent mental health crisis by investing $4.7 billion to transform our state’s behavioral health system so that every child can be routinely screened, supported, and have access to world-class mental health services . I am grateful to Governor Murphy and First Lady Murphy for prioritizing this issue — along with maternal and child health — so that we all in the NGA can share best practices and work together to address these overwhelming crises.”

In response to rising rates of mental health problems among young people, Gov. Murphy launched his NGA Chair’s initiative in July. As part of the Youth Mental Health Empowerment Initiative, governors across the country are working together to develop bipartisan solutions.

During the two-day roundtable event in Santa Monica, hosted by Gov. Gavin Newsom and first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Gov. Murphy and Polis engaged in discussions with parents, physicians, child psychologists, educators, policymakers and other mental health professionals. The talks focused on challenges and solutions related to raising awareness and reducing stigma.

At the event, Gov. Murphy unveiled a new video about the Chair’s Initiative, which will be shared in a state publicity campaign.

The California event is the second of four roundtables being convened by state governors in support of Strengthening Youth Mental Health. A previous roundtable was hosted in Utah by the Utah Governor and NGA Vice Chairman Spencer Cox.

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