Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

May 5 marks national Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. PRMS applauds mental health groups and communities around the country as they work to raise awareness about the mental health needs of America’s youngest citizens. In an effort to draw people together to advocate for a full array of effective services, we wanted to provide information about how you can get involved.

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This year’s national event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The event, to be held May 5 at 7 p.m. at The George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs, is titled “Finding Help, Finding Hope.” It will explore how communities can increase access to behavioral health services and supports for children, youth, and young adults who experience mental or substance use disorders and their families.

This interactive program will feature youth and family leaders, educators, law enforcement officials, and behavioral health professionals. The program will be webcast live and available on-demand after the event.

SAMHSA will present a special recognition award to Honorary Chairperson, Reid Ewing—best known as Dylan on “Modern Family”—for his work to promote openness and educate others about mental health. Ewing suffers from body dysmorphic disorder, a mental illness in which a person obsesses over the way he or she looks. He wrote about his challenges and multiple plastic surgeries in a Huffington Post essay in 2015.

Event panelists will include SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto and Center for Mental Health Services Director Paolo del Vecchio, MSW, along with Linda Rosenberg, MSW, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health.

“PRMS recognizes the importance of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and applauds SAMHSA and other organizations and individuals from around the country who are working to share insights on strategies for overcoming barriers to behavioral health care access,” said Stephen Sills, PRMS Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

PRMS also partners with the behavioral healthcare community and groups and supports causes important to them – including the mental health of children and adolescents. In recognition of last year’s event, PRMS staff took part in a service project for the nonprofit Kraftlove by helping package boxed craft kits to promote healing for children in area hospitals. To date, Kraftlove has partnered with five medical facilities in the D.C. metro area and donated 450 Kraftlove boxes.

PRMS also provides risk management tips and resources for psychiatrists that address issues unique to child and adolescent psychiatry.

Want to get involved? Consider doing one of the following:

Organize an Awareness Day Live! viewing event on May 5 at 7 p.m. EDT. Gather a group to watch the live webcast and participate in the onstage discussion via digital or social media using the hashtag #HeroesofHope.

Host a viewing event of the on-demand version of Awareness Day Live! and consider viewing all or part of the national webcast. Then have a discussion about the unique challenges and opportunities related to behavioral health care access in your community.

Participate in the Awareness Day 2016 Text, Talk, Act conversation. Through text messaging, small groups can receive discussion questions that lead them through a conversation about mental health.

Click here to find Awareness Day 2016 Activities in your area.

Visit SAMHSA for more information about National Children’s Mental Awareness Day.

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