My number one priority is to bring greater attention to and focus on the health and safety of our youth. We are a generation in the United States that may be witnessing for the first time a state where our children are at risk of having a lower life expectancy than their parents.
Our kids are in trouble. They are shooting each other with guns, they are shooting themselves up with heroin. They are taking higher numbers of anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications, and the national suicide rate recently surpassed accidents as the number one cause of death for middle schoolers. As a group, they are at a greater risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In Massachusetts and across the country our children are suffering.
These statistics impact each of us, are a reflection of us, our society, and our future. Again, this is not a time to point fingers and cast blame. This is a time to look internally and have serious difficult discussions that lead to efficient and effective action that actually looks to help our kids.
As a mother and as a healthcare professional I bring to the table heartfelt concern and the ability to work toward defining and addressing root causes which can ultimately result in the development of solutions.
"A country is as strong, really, as its citizens. And I think that mental and physical health - mental and physical vigor - go hand in hand."