This past November, Children’s Health published the 16th edition of Beyond ABC: Assessing the Well-Being of Children in North Texas, a comprehensive report on the quality of life for children in North Texas. The Beyond ABC report, which is published every two years, evaluates four key areas that impact children in Dallas, Collin, Cooke, Denton, Fannin and Grayson counties. Researchers aim to understand trends and areas of improvement in pediatric health, economic security, safety and education.

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The 2019 report found while there has been meaningful progress made in terms of physical health since the 2017 report, there is a larger need for mental and behavioral health services across North Texas.

The 2019 report found that an estimated 130,000 North Texas children suffer from an emotional disturbance or addictive disorder. Over the course of the past two years, there was a 143% increase of mental health diagnoses served by Medicaid Managed Care in children of Collin County. As one could expect, untreated mental health conditions lead to higher rates of youth suicide and youth mortality.

“After reading this year’s report, one realization was stunningly clear to me – we must radically change how we support the behavioral health of our children,” said Chris Durovich, president and CEO of Children’s Health in a press release. “Caring for our community’s youth is a privilege we take seriously, and it has emboldened us to disavow the notion that any problem is too big, too complicated or too widespread. While we appreciate that transformational change will not happen overnight, we are confident that through a sustained effort by many, we can achieve an integrated behavioral health care system that serves every North Texas child.

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Click here to read the full Beyond ABC: Assessing the Well-Being of Children in North Texas, 16th Edition report and find out how you can take action in your community.

Alex Gonzalez is a writer at Local Profile. He is a lover of food, music, sports, art, and world cultures. Alex was born and raised in Plano and graduated from University of North Texas in 2017. When he...