About National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day – “SAMHSA created National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) more than a decade ago to shine a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child’s mental health and to reinforce the message that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development.” The observance was started to increase public awareness about the needs of children with serious mental illness (SMI) and severe emotional disturbance (SED), to provide information on evidence-based practices for their families, and to assist help-seeking behaviors for those who need it. The first Awareness Day event was held in Washington, DC in 2005 to support community level efforts. Some things you can do this month to support your community in responding to the mental health needs of children are:
- Watch SAMHSA’s video about last year’s Awareness Day: National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2019-Suicide Prevention: Strategies That Work.
- Access resources and supports from SAMHSA and the Awareness Day partners.
- Plan Awareness Day activities for your own community during the month of May, such as hosting a mental health resource fair, a film screening and panel discussion, a family-friendly barbeque, fun run, or Twitter chat and a children’s mental health issue.
American Psychological Association (APA) Celebrates Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
Each year, National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (May 7) seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. This year, The American Psychological Association (APA) focuses on supporting mental health conversations between parents/guardians and their children, especially in light of the current pandemic.
Text, Talk, Act uses text messaging to deliver content and information to our nation’s youth through their cell phones. Launching on May 7, and continuing throughout the month of May, teens text APA to 89800 to engage in an activity around mental health.
Teens will learn about how to take care of their mental health, focusing on challenges related to COVID-19, and how to reach out to their parents/guardians to start a conversation around mental health. The text messages include polling questions, discussion questions, videos and social media interactions.
The activity takes 45 minutes and culminates in building the skills needed to hold an effective conversation with their parents on the topic of mental health.
Learn more about this activity and find resources for parents at: www.apa.org/pi/families/children-awareness-day.