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ICYMI: Governors Join Forces to Strengthen Youth Mental Health


New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and Delaware Governor John Carney Hold Event in Philadelphia

Philadelphia – National Governors Association (NGA) Chair New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy continued his nationwide initiative on strengthening youth mental health with an event hosted in Philadelphia by Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and joined by Delaware Governor John Carney. The Governors held a roundtable discussion with those on the frontlines of youth mental health care in the fourth of a series of conversations to advance the NGA Chair’s Initiative: Strengthening Youth Mental Health.

The conversation focused on training and supporting caregivers and teachers, and the event also included discussions on maternal and infant health – a related initiative led by New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy.

"The youth mental health crisis and the impact it has on our communities is prevalent throughout the country in blue, red, and purple states,” said Governor Murphy. “Over the last eight months, we have heard deeply personal stories from people with lived experience, educators, families, community leaders, and providers and have learned about the resources they believe are critical in order to strengthen youth mental health. Today’s convening highlighted the importance of providing parents, caregivers, and educators with the vital training and resources they need to support the youth in their lives. As Governors, we are committed to working across party lines to develop bipartisan and innovative solutions to address this crisis and get America’s youth the support they deserve.”

“For too long, there has been a stigma around mental health care – but that's changing with this generation. Students across the Commonwealth aren't afraid to talk about their mental health, and that's what I hear every day,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “We need a comprehensive approach to deliver real help for young people struggling with their mental health, and that’s why we need to work with parents, teachers, and mental health professionals to ensure those resources are available. Here in Pennsylvania, I’m proposing a $500 million investment in student mental health – and I look forward to working with Governor Murphy and my colleagues across the country to get young people the help they need." 

“There’s no higher priority than ensuring children get the support they deserve in their schools and communities,” said Governor John Carney. “Mental wellness is just as important as physical wellness. We all have to be prepared as a community to respond effectively to assist children experiencing mental health challenges.”

“Combating the intertwined issues of maternal and infant health alongside youth mental health necessitates a collective approach. In order to achieve success in our efforts, we have now completed our fourth national convening in just eight months with diverse stakeholders and experts who have helped us chart a path forward,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “As we approach the closing of this year’s NGA session, we look forward to sharing two distinct but related playbooks highlighting the compilation of our national work and findings to help guide states as they work to improve the lives of the mothers, infants, and youth of our nation.”

The roundtable discussion featured parents, educators, mental health experts and advocates, including Academy Award winning actress Goldie Hawn. Hawn founded MindUP, a program launched in 2003 to advance science-based social-emotional learning to support youth mental health and resilience. 

In response to rising rates of mental health distress among young people, Governor Murphy introduced his NGA Chair’s Initiative last July. Through the Strengthening Youth Mental Health initiative, Governors from across the nation are collaborating to develop bipartisan solutions.

The Pennsylvania event is the fourth roundtable discussion Governor Murphy has held in multiple states in support of the Strengthening Youth Mental Health initiative. Previous roundtables were hosted in Michigan with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer,  in California with Colorado Governor Jared Polis, and in Utah with NGA Vice Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox.