Why We Are Needed

In any given year, one out of five children will experience some sort of mental health challenge, and for half of those the challenge will be so severe that it will significantly disrupt their functioning at home, at school or in the community. That means that every year, there are likely at least 75,000 children in Mississippi whose lives (and that of their families) are adversely affected by emotional or behavioral challenges. We also know that, although there are some innovative pilot projects and services in the state, only about 1,000 of these children get the intensity of support they need.

Services are fragmented, what is available doesn't always match the need, families don't where to turn for help and sometimes families feel blamed and judged when they finally find services. We are committed to working hand in hand with families across the state to insure that effective services are available, easy to find and delivered in a respectful and responsive manner.

Our system is most effective when all of the child-serving agencies work together in partnership with children and families to develop policies, programs and services that are truly responsive to the needs of families in our state. This is called a System of Care approach. Families as Allies partners with all of the state's child-serving systems (Mental Health, Education, Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Health, Rehabilitation and Medicaid) to ensure families are a driving force in policies, programs and services.

Families as Allies is funded through generous donations, training fees, grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Heath Services Administration, the City of Jackson and the Department of Mental Health, and contracts with other non-profits and agencies.