NEW ORLEANS, LA, December 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- New Orleans radio personality, Q93 deejay, Wild Wayne (Wayne Benjamin) has been invited to the 2013 White House Youth Summit. The Summit, being held Wednesday, December 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C., is a briefing and discussion with Senior White House and Administration Officials on the Affordable Care Act and other issues affecting young Americans. Benjamin will be participating in forum discussions, with other community leaders and young people, regarding the Affordable Care Act and it's impact on America's youth.
Benjamin's foothold in the New Orleans community, as a radio personality and philanthropist, including The Benjamin Foundation, the non-profit he founded and chairs, makes him uniquely knowledgeable when it comes to understanding the plight of New Orleans youth. "New Orleans youth have died violently at an alarming rate for decades. I'm interested in discussing with White House Administration the idea of keeping them alive and how the Affordable Care Act has the potential to improve their quality of life," Benjamin stated. "If they're not alive healthcare is irrelevant."
According to the New Orleans Health Department's 2012 Behavioral Health in New Orleans Report: "Ensuring that behavioral health is an essential part of health and well-being for children, youth, and families in New Orleans is a step towards ensuring a healthy community. However, the behavioral health and mental system in New Orleans remains a fragile system that is continually evolving with the changing landscape of health care." Benjamin says, "A major issue in the New Orleans youth community is mental health analysis. Post Katrina there has never been a systemic and holistic analysis on the overall psyche of the youth of New Orleans." He continued, "After such a catastrophic event, a strongly funded initiative should have been orchestrated. More than likely the wave of youth violence and turmoil is a direct correlation to the PTSD and mental health issues from Katrina's effect."
Benjamin also hosts a weekly talk show called Real Talk New Orleans that has addressed the city's lack of mental health initiatives and programs available to the New Orleans youth community. The New Orleans Health Department lists: a lack of coordination within the behavioral health system, poor linkages between behavioral health service providing agencies, a lack of coordination with other service providing systems and limited coordination and leadership for community visioning and strategic planning, as specific challenges to behavioral health in the New Orleans community.
On Monday, December 2nd at 8:00 p.m. ET, the public can join White House Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications David Simas, Kal Pen, and Young Invincibles for a Google+ Hangout. The live video chat will include: an announcement about the winners of the "Healthy Young America Video Contest," a preview of the upcoming Youth Summit, and questions taken about the Affordable Care Act. The public can watch the Hangout live on the White House Google+ page at http://plus.google.com/+whitehouse. Additionally, on December 4th, The Summit will be streamed live starting at 2:00 pm ET on Whitehouse.gov/live.
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