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OC Commission Recommends Ways to Tackle Youth Mental Health Issues

Orange County spokeswoman Donna Wyche says 75 percent of mental health issues show up before the age of 24. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Orange County spokeswoman Donna Wyche says 75 percent of mental health issues show up before the age of 24. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A commission tasked with tackling mental health issues in Orange County is recommending more resources for residents.

The Youth Mental Health Commission will ask the board of commissioners today to launch an anti-stigma campaign and to put more money into services.

Seventy-five percent of mental health issues show up before the age of 24, according to county spokeswoman Donna Wyche. She oversees a new mobile crisis service that gives families free emergency access to a mental health expert for their kids when they call 211.

“Why wouldn’t you spend most of your effort working with that population in trying to identify the mental health issue early, get treatment early because this is a disease just like any other disease that you can live with with treatment,” Wyche said.

The county started the Youth Mental Health Commission after the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut. Its suggestions come one week after the mobile crisis service started.

Wyche hopes the new service will slowly change people’s mindsets.

“Mental health issues, mental illness are like any other major health issues like diabetes or cancer or any chronic disease,” she said. “We want people to know that it’s treatable and that it shouldn’t carry all the stigma that it has with it.”

The Youth Mental Health commission will suggest more money for other services and a way to streamline information about resources for families.


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About Renata Sago

Renata Sago

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