Support efforts to prioritize children’s mental health

San Francisco Chronicle By Elizabeth Estes May 16, 2015 Updated: May 18, 2015 6:50pm

As a hostage survivor, PTSD patient, and 20-year attorney in the systems that serve California children, I had seen enough. I had watched too many families struggle to access mental health services only to be left to watch their children fall apart — ending up deteriorating, incarcerated or worse.

When I think about these situations, the same anxiety I felt as a hostage wells up. I find myself back in September 1990, when my sister and I were taken hostage in Henry’s Bar in Berkeley by a paranoid schizophrenic. I remember the people who were injured, our hostage-taker, and the authorities desperately trying to get us out. And I remember my own PTSD.

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