National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

In 2006, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services launched an annual national initiative called “National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.” Awareness Day is designated as a day in May of each year to coincide with May Is Mental Health Month. This day presents an opportunity for children’s mental health initiatives within SAMHSA to promote positive youth development, resilience, recovery, and the transformation of mental health services delivery for children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families.

The theme of Awareness Day is “Thriving in the Community.” Children’s mental health initiatives will hold similar events and other activities throughout the country to build awareness that children’s mental health needs are real and that progress is being made toward developing effective strategies for achieving the vision of a life in the community for everyone.

What are the goals of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day?

  1. To raise awareness of effective programs for children’s mental health needs.
  2. To demonstrate how children’s mental health initiatives promote positive youth development, recovery, and resilience.
  3. To show how children with mental health needs thrive in their communities.

What is the overall message of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day?

The overall message of Awareness Day is that children and youth with mental health needs and their families are thriving in the community. Children’s mental health initiatives promote positive youth development, prevention, recovery, and resilience for children and youth with serious emotional disturbances and their families. It is a goal of children’s mental health initiatives to transform the mental health service delivery system for children and youth with mental health needs and their families.

Why was “Thriving in the Community” chosen as the theme for Awareness Day?

The theme for Awareness Day, “Thriving in the Community,” serves to support SAMHSA’s vision of “Life in the Community for Everyone.” The child-serving agencies and organizations that partner with children’s mental health initiatives will play a significant role in identifying children and youth whose achievements have enriched schools, neighborhoods, and the greater community in which they live. Showcasing academic achievement will highlight the crucial role education plays in successful children’s mental health initiatives, while celebrations of both artistic and athletic abilities can spark ideas for new partnerships, both within and outside the educational system, that provide additional outlets for children and youth with serious mental health needs to thrive.

Why was a day during National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week selected for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day?

Awareness Day is scheduled to build on long-standing “May Is Mental Health Month” and “Children’s Mental Health Week” traditions of mental health and family organizations. May Is Mental Health Month was first celebrated by Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association) 50 years ago as a way to further elevate awareness of children’s mental health. National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week was established by the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.

By holding Awareness Day during this week, children’s mental health initiatives and programs will have the opportunity to partner with the numerous family and mental health organizations that are holding events during this time. In particular, we see substantial opportunities for children’s mental health initiatives to partner with their local statewide family network organizations. These organizations have been collaborating with the Federation of Families on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week events for the past 10 years, and they will be an invaluable resource for Awareness Day.

 


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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 May 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2009). National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/05/07/national-childrens-mental-health-awareness-day/

 

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