A Message from the OCC Director on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is May 9, 2012!Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Child Care is happy to announce that Wednesday, May 9, 2012 is SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The goal of the Awareness Day is to promote collaboration among many diverse groups to raise awareness about the effectiveness of community-based mental health  services for children, youth, and their families; to demonstrate how children’s mental health initiatives promote positive youth development; and to show how children and youth with mental health needs thrive in their communities.

States and communities across the country are encouraged to participate and/or host awareness day activities. Last year, 107 national organizations as well as over 1000 communities across the country participated in Awareness Day activities. This year SAMHSA hopes to increase the involvement of local groups and communities.  We hope Tribes, States and Territories will hold initiatives throughout their jurisdictions in order to facilitate greater collaboration.

There are  many ways States, Tribes and Territories can get involved in Awareness Day 2012.  Here are few ideas and resources:

  • Use the checklist to help you plan a successful event;
  • Link to www.samhsa.gov/children  for the latest news about Awareness Day and download materials;
  • Distribute Awareness Day materials through listservs and social media platforms;
  • Collaborate with other organizations to host a local or Statewide activities;
  • Use the Awareness Day 2012 proclamation template  to have the governor, mayor, or other local official declare May 9, 2012, National Children’s Mental Awareness Day;
  • Link to http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/state_planning.html, the official website for the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) to find resources on  evidence-based practices that promote the social and emotional development of school readiness of young children.

We encourage you to share this information with organizations in your communities.  Sharing information is a great way to spread the word on the great work that is happening in communities across the country.   Please feel free to follow-up with your Regional Offices to provide information events in your States, Tribes or Territories. 

Thank you for your work to support the healthy development of young children and their families.