National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

Posted 05/04/2016 | By HealthCorps

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is celebrated from May 1st through May 7th. The campaign is a yearly event geared to raising awareness and highlighting the critical need for mental health care reform in our country, specifically for kids. It is obvious that we need to increase efforts to prevent and identify early mental health challenges so we can prevent and intercept mental illness. This effort requires full family engagement, along with policy leaders and health practitioners helping to support families so that kids are enabled to be resilient. Resiliency requires nurturing. Poverty and lack of education are two roadblocks that many families face, which can hinder or interfere with the ability of kids to get the proper foundation necessary for mental resiliency.

The National Federation of Families created this specific awareness week to inspire a national dialogue about the importance of healthy family units and resilient children. The Green Ribbon Campaign is part of the social marketing and awareness effort by the organization to celebrate kids, and the hope is that great strides are being made in highlighting the issues and promoting awareness in communities across the nation.

In Ireland, more than 500,000 ribbons will be distributed nationwide free of charge to help instigate conversations about mental health. It’s just one of the many ways to get people (worldwide) talking about a topic that has a great deal of stigma attached to it. The goal is to instigate change in how individuals deal with mental health issues. Here in the U.S. we struggle to manage the growing challenge of mental health among adults and children. It’s not just about talking though; we all need to learn to listen too.

May 5th is designated Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and the theme of the day is “Finding Help, Finding Hope.” The effort is intended to inspire exploring strategies that help to improve access to behavioral health services that are accessible and affordable for children, teens and young adults struggling with mental health issues and substance use disorders. Communities are participating by organizing events to highlight the issues. The national event will be an interactive panel discussion taking place at 7 p.m. EDT at the Jack Morton Auditorium at The George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs. If you are not able to attend the event, there will be a live webcast. You can also see events in your state or city.

The HealthCorps mission is to give teens the tools to improve their physical and mental health so that they can live happier, more productive lives. Students exposed to the HealthCorps curriculum, through Living Labs and through HealthCorps University (HCU), exercise more, choose healthier foods and practice positive thought. U.S. teens face incredible stress levels and they need coping skills to face daily challenges like food deserts, poverty, tempting and cheap processed foods and difficult home situations. Teens need tools that will allow them to be accountable for their own future, and campaigns like Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week and programs like HealthCorps provide the education, awareness and opportunities necessary to build mental strength.

Source:
National Federation of Families

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