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Addressing A Youth Mental Health Crisis

Liz Wolfe and Mathew Briggs

Children’s Mercy of Kansas City is a premiere health care provider for children in the region. Mathew Briggs and Liz Wolfe, Philanthropic Giving Officers, talked about the array of medical and health services provided by Children’s Mercy of Kansas City. The institution boasts some 800 pediatric specialists on staff and last year served over 600,000 patients from the region, including 47 states and 14 foreign countries. Children’s Mercy is a nonprofit organization with various locations and partners in the area and maintains a productive Research Institute.

Mathew and Liz spoke about Illuminate, a new program designed to address the growing crisis in mental health disorders in children. Nationally, one in five children have a serious mental health disorder and treatment resources are particularly inadequate in our region. Children’s Mercy has experienced a 67 per cent increase in referrals of children with mental health problems. Gifts to support the work of Illuminate will provide early intervention, increased specialty services, expanded hospital care, and new research and innovations. Some 82.3 million dollars of the 150 million dollar goal has been raised to date. A show of hands from the group showed a majority present had some family member who had received services from Children’s Mercy.