Andersson voiced his support for Senate Bill 565, which would require age-appropriate developmental and social and emotional screenings to be included as part of a standard health examination. He further discussed the importance of mental health, and the opportunity this bill would have to promote the early diagnosis of mental illness.
Andersson urged legislators to not only support the legislation, but to also recognize mental illness and the growing impact it has. He noted that as many as one in five children under that age of 18 has or will have a serious mental illness. Yet, despite that staggering number, the average delay between onset and diagnosis of a mental illness is ten years. Andersson supports SB 565 as he believes the earlier mental illness can be identified and diagnosed the better chance that child will be given.
“Mental illness is real. Too much time is wasted after the onset of mental illness and before assistance or treatment is given,” said Andersson. “This bill provides for early intervention, and gives parents a shot at helping their children—so they can know the signs, catch mental health early on and get the treatment they need as soon as possible.”
Andersson supports efforts to bring more awareness to mental illness, and advocates for the support of mental health initiatives like SB 565.
The bill is currently in its third reading in the House. More of Rep. Andersson’s remarks on the legislation can be seen in the video below.