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Hundreds meet to discuss ways to improve youth mental health

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SAN ANTONIO- According to the National Institutes of Health, one in five kids ages 8 to 15 will be diagnosed with a mental illness. It's a number mental health advocates are working hard to break.

“It's better to speak out then to hold it in because that's how you avoid tragedies,” said Dora Maldonado.

Right now, Maldonado's four children each live with a mental or behavioral health challenge. She says it's important to get more resources to help families and children heal.

“This is just a portion of the people who actually really need it,” Maldonado said.

Shanna Wheeler is the chairman for Bexar CARES. She says Texas is one of the lowest ranked states for availability of mental health services and funding. She says events where partners and parents can work together and collaborate bring change.

“All those people that are involved with our children to really let them know where we saw the gaps that needed to be fixed in our system what was working great and maybe some challenges we faced as parents working in a system every day to try to get our kids the services they need to help them heal,” Wheeler said.

Maldonado agrees.

“People say like you drop a plate it was whole at once, once you drop it you know its broken. Put the pieces back together but they are not going to be the same,” Maldonado said.

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