Monday, April 22, 2013

Advocacy Alert: Severe Child Psychiatrist Shortage

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Ask Your Senator to Support Funding for the HRSA Pediatric Specialty Loan Repayment Program
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Dear Leonard,
There is a critical shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists around the country, and there is something you and I can do about that.

Now is the time to contact your Senators' offices.

The Senate is currently asking its members to submit funding requests for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) has authored a letter asking his colleagues to support funding for the Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program in FY 2014.

The Title VII health profession programs will provide loan repayment to child and adolescent psychiatrists of up to $35,000 per year, for up to three years, for those who work in medically underserved areas.

We need your help! Urge your Senators to support the Title VII health profession programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration by signing on to Senator Reed's letter by April 25.

Talking Points:
  • There is a severe shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists.  As more and more children are diagnosed with serious physical and mental health conditions, the number of subspecialists available to treat them is diminishing.  The nation’s current supply of pediatric specialists is inadequate to meet the needs of America’s children.
  • Throughout the country, children and families often face long wait times to obtain an appointment with a child and adolescent psychiatrist.  Wait times of up to six months are not uncommon for child mental health professionals. For a child with severe mental illness, such as depression, not receiving timely treatment can be life threating. 
  • The pediatric subspecialty loan repayment program through the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) will help address this issue. Please support Title VII health profession programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration by signing on to Senator Reed's letter by April 25. 

Thank you for your advocacy efforts. If we raise our voices together, we can truly make a difference in the lives of children with mood disorders. 
Best Regards,

Susan Resko
Executive Director

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