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Families First walks to support children’s mental health

Families First organized a walk in support of Children’s Mental Health Month May 11.

Families First organized a walk in support of Children’s Mental Health Month May 11. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Members of the Families First community took to the streets of Elizabethtown May 11 to show their support for children’s mental health.

The third annual Mental Health Awareness Walk started near the Stewart’s Shop with presentations, followed by a ribbon-cutting by Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley and a walk across the town.

The walk was about 2-1/2 miles and was followed by a barbecue at the Families First headquarters on Water Street.

During the May 7 Essex County Board of Supervisors meeting, members of the board unanimously showed their support for National Children’s Mental Awareness Month in May.

“We have had more families than ever need services,” Executive Director Joanne Caswell said before the board. “In 2011, we served 360 families which is the most we have ever served. We are continuing to see unfortunately younger and younger children with more serious diagnosis, which is stressing my staff and I am sure the families as well.”

Caswell talked to the board about the need for mental health services for children and said while the numbers may be alarming, strides are being made.

“I think we are making progress,” Caswell said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us.”

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