Great Seal of the State of Delaware
Jack Markell's Blog

Delaware Governor: Jack Markell

Facebook  Twitter  Google+  Instagram  Pinterest  Flickr  YouTube

  Archived Posts From: 2012


Guest Post: Susan Cycyk, Children’s Mental Health Matters

Written on: May 9th, 2012 in Guest Posts

Susan Cycyk, Director, Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services Delaware Children’s DepartmentBy Susan Cycyk, Director, Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services Delaware Children’s Department

Today more than 1,100 communities across the country will join forces to celebrate National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

image: Children’s Mental Health MattersAwareness Day is a key strategy of the federal Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign, an effort to highlight the importance of positive mental health from birth. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues, if left unattended, can evolve to more serious problems later in life, including physical difficulties. However, when we intervene early and connect children and families with effective services and supports, emotional challenges can be addressed and the entire family’s life can improve.

Studies show that at least one in five children and adolescents has had or is experiencing a mental health challenge. Sometimes we blame parents or tell our children to “Just handle it.”  At least one third of our children, youth and their families do not receive help to image: Children’s Mental Health Mattersaddress their issues. With the right resources, children and youth with mental, emotional and behavioral health needs and their families can achieve a better quality of life. When untreated, however, mental health issues can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence, and even suicide. Untreated mental illness disorders can be very costly to families, schools, communities, and the health care system. The life changing results of early intervention and evidenced-based treatments are estimated to save society between $30,000 and $100,000 per child.

image: First Lady Carla MarkellIn Delaware we work diligently to address the needs of children, youth and families from birth through age 18. We are particularly focused on our youngest population, children between the ages of birth to 5, and their families. Through Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation in early education centers and through the provision of specific counseling approaches and effective treatment, such as Parent Child Interaction Therapy, we are supporting families in living healthier, happier lives.

For more information about children’s mental health services in Delaware call the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services at 1-800-722-7710 or visit Emotional health is as important as physical health – Every Child’s Mental Health Matters!

Tags: , , , ,


Guest Post: Secretary Shailen Bhatt, Coastal Treasure Shines Again

Written on: May 8th, 2012 in Guest Posts

Secretary of Transportation Shailen BhattThis past Sunday, we celebrated the rich history and bright future of the Charles W. Cullen Bridge at the Indian River Inlet. Its history includes different bridge designs over the course of several decades, an ever-changing physical environment and the emergence of Delaware as one of the east coast’s premier resort locations. Its future will work to enhance its status as a treasure of the Delaware coast.

View of the Indian River Inlet BridgeIn January of this year, it was my pleasure to join Governor Markell, Senator Carper and others to open the southbound side of the bridge to traffic. Since then, anticipation has been building for the time when we would officially dedicate the bridge and prepare to open it fully to vehicles and pedestrians. In the coming weeks before Memorial Day weekend, DelDOT employees will work with our contractor, George and Lynch, to open the northbound side of the bridge, as well as the pedestrian walkway, which will usher in a new era in multi-modal transportation along the Delaware coast and eastern Sussex County.

For the first time since bridges have spanned the inlet, this crossing will not be subjected to the extreme tidal conditions that have affected, and sometimes destroyed, previous bridges. It is through the ingenuity and work of bridge builders Skanska Civil Southeast and their subcontractors, as well as our members of Team DelDOT, this new span has risen and will stand for many years to come.

View from the Indian River Inlet BridgeThe ceremonies on Sunday were also focused on re-dedicating the bridge structure to Charles W. Cullen. Mr. Cullen was born in Georgetown in 1865, and practiced law as a member of the Delaware Bar Association. In 1930, he became a member of the State Highway Commission and sat on the Commission until 1940. Throughout his life, he advocated for the inlet to be permanently established at its current location and worked to promote the internal development of the Indian River Bay and the economic and recreational benefits it had to offer. It is because of his drive and vision that this area of Delaware has become the economic and tourism jewel it is today.

Indian River Inlet Bridge in the mid 1930'sDelaware residents have marked the symbolic end of the bridge construction project. Now, work on the demolition of the old bridge, along with improvements to restore and enhance various State Park and campground amenities, will be moving forward. And soon, the Indian River Inlet area will once again live up to its position of being one of the true treasures of the Delaware coast.

Tags: , , ,


STEM Education Provides Competitive Edge to DE Youth

Written on: May 4th, 2012 in Education

During some particularly challenging times these last few years, our state has made clear – again and again – that whether it was meeting the challenge of the federal race to the top contest, trying to reopen the shuttered refinery at Delaware City, tackling rapidly rising pension and health care costs, or putting our state back on the path to financial stability – our model has always been that Delawareans come together to fight alongside each other for things that matter.

image: STEM Education Provides Competitive Edge to DE YouthAnd I can’t imagine a more pressing challenge than the global battle for talent and jobs currently under way. I had a chance to talk with the CEO of the Gallup Company recently, who said there are 3 billion people in the world looking for work, and only 1.2 billion jobs available. It is truly a global competition for jobs.

image: STEM Education Provides Competitive Edge to DE YouthIn a recent report on what the fastest growing companies in the world looked for first and foremost when it came to how and where they decide to invest, the top factor they mentioned again and again was the talent and training of the available workforce – which is so dependent on great public schools. Specifically, the high-wage, high potential jobs of the future depend on the strength of education in what are called STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Last year, we convened a STEM Council to take a look at how we can be more competitive in this area. It was a great example of how Delaware pulls together – business leaders, educators, researchers – even its co-Chair and former Senator Ted Kaufman. These community leaders donated thousands of hours of time to create a strong series of recommendations on how we can better prepare our kids for the future. The full report is available at

image: STEM Education Provides Competitive Edge to DE YouthThey gave their time because it is critical to our national and economic interest that we own STEM innovation in the future as thoroughly as we owned mechanical innovation in the past. It’s our obligation to nation’s future leaders that we equip them with the tools, networks and opportunities that STEM can offer them, so that the unlimited potential you can sense in this place and in these kids will truly lead our state, and nation, forward.


Tags: , , ,


Got Drugs? Turn Them In

Written on: April 27th, 2012 in Helping Our Neighbors

Most families have some type of unused prescription medication in their medicine cabinets. The Markell family is cleaning out its cabinets this week and we invite you to do the same.

Unused prescription drugs pose a threat to our children, our families and our environment, which is why Delaware is again partnering with the Drug Enforcement Agency to sponsor National Take-Back Prescription Drug Day this Saturday, April 28, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The National Drug Take-Back Day is a convenient, safe way to dramatically reduce the amount of expired and unused drugs in our medicine cabinets and in our homes. Our collective participation offers numerous benefits.

  • We improve the safety of our homes and communities by preventing undesirable behaviors, such as unauthorized use or abuse of prescription drugs.
  • We reduce the chance of a person using expired medicines, either purposefully or by accident by better organizing (and de-cluttering) medicine cabinets.
  • We protect our environment by not allowing expired medicines to come in contact with groundwater when they are thrown in the garbage or flushed down the toilet, and by keeping them away from wildlife and domestic animals.
Gov. Markell announces Drug Take-Back Day

So take some time over the next several days to check the medicines in your home and to remind your friends and family to do the same. Delawareans can drop off all unneeded prescription and over-the-counter pills, liquids and cream medications (and even pet medications) at any one of the 31 collection sites statewide. The collection is both free and anonymous, so be sure to remove any personal information from bottles and packages. All drugs collected will be taken to special locations and incinerated.

Last October, Delaware’s collection sites took in 4,465 pounds of medications. We hope to meet or exceed that level on Saturday.

To find a collection site near you, click on the banner above or call 1-800-882-9539.

Tags: , ,


A Second Annual Homebuyer Fair

Written on: April 26th, 2012 in Guest PostsHelping Our Neighbors

Anas Ben Addi

Guest Post by Anas Ben Addi, Executive Director of DSHA

Buying a new home is a big decision; especially for first time homebuyers.

In light of the downturn in the housing market since 2008, it’s no wonder people are hesitant to take the plunge and purchase their first home.

The good news, though, is that there’s never been such a great time for first-time homebuyers to purchase a new home because of historically low interest rates and reasonably priced homes in everyone’s price range.

On April 28, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Christiana Hilton Hotel (100 Continental Dr. Newark, DE), the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), in partnership with DFLI~The Money School and the Delaware Federation of Housing Counselors, will hold its second annual Homebuyer Fair. The Fair will allow prospective homeowners – including individuals who have not owned a home in the past three years – to obtain the information they need to make their home buying decision less daunting.

We encourage individuals interested in purchasing a home to come to the event and attend seminars on a range of different home buying topics including: home inspections, strategies for finding the right home and negotiating on the right price. Realtors and lenders will also be on-hand to discuss financing options as well.

Attendees of the event can also learn about the DSHA’s programs available to help Delawareans purchase their first home such as:

  • The First-Time Homebuyer Program, a statewide program, provides prospective homeowners who haven’t owned a home in the past three years.
  • Rebuilding Our Communities (ROC) provides $15,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance to qualified homebuyers and properties.
  • Second Mortgage Assistance Loan (SMAL) is a loan up to $10,000 for closing cost and down payment assistance for qualified homebuyers.

These seminar classes meet HUD-approved workshop requirements.

The event is free for the public to attend and we believe it will be a great source of information with more than 40 exhibitors including realtors and financial institutions, and service providers. Pre-registration is recommended, but not required. Visit the DFLI~The Money School’s website to register at:

For additional information on the event, visit us on Facebook, on Twitter (@DEStateHousing and using the hashtag #homeownership) or on the State Housing Authority website.

Tags: , , ,