At the start of this Suicide Prevention month, $12 million in funding by the state in a collaboration to help prevent a growing youth mental health crisis was announced. Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth), who spoke about his own struggles with mental health at the announcement, explained why he and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) are so proud of the funding for the New Jersey Pediatric Psychiatric Collaborative.

The program’s expansion will provide families and children with a safe outlet where they can receive the care and treatment they need without a trip to the ER.

“Child psychiatry … is the most underserved of all the medical specialties in America right now. We just don’t have enough children’s mental health providers. We think the project is critical and innovative because it utilizes the pediatricians who families have access to and then the pediatricians can reach out to us to get help,” said Dr. Ramon Solhkhah, chair  of psychiatry at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

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