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Children's Mental Health Awareness Week

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May 4-10, 2014

The Center for School Mental Health (CSMH) is pleased to be partnering at the national, state, and local levels to advance children's mental health awareness. To raise awareness, numerous programs, organizations and communities around the country are joining together to promote positive mental health, well-being, and social development for children and youth of all ages. 

In the State of Maryland, the Children’s Mental Health Matters!  Campaign is a collaboration of the Mental Health Association of Maryland (MHAMD) and the Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) with support from the Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration and MD CARES. The Campaign goal, with over 80 partners across the state, is to raise public awareness of the importance of children’s mental health. The CSMH is providing support for the 2014 School Champion project. The Maryland campaign has developed some practical resources that provide ideas of how to get schools and school mental health more involved in Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

As part of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (May 8, 2014) has provided materials and resources to prepare for awareness day. SAMHSA’s newly revised awareness day event resources can also be viewed here. SAMHSA is also launching a hashtag event showcase.

The National Federation of Families for Children?s Mental Health has many events this week dedicated to increasing public awareness about the triumphs and challenges in children's mental health and emphasizing the importance of family and youth involvement in the children's mental health movement! The Federation 's theme this year is Builcing a Circle of Wellness. 

During Children’s Mental Health Awareness week, it is important to recognize the critical role and value of school mental health in helping all youth to be successful. The CSMH research report, The Impact of School Mental Health: Educational, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes, provides a one page summary of key highlights of the impact of school mental health and a more detailed nine page summary of the literature, including empirical findings and a reference list. Below are some basic facts related to school mental health that can be shared to raise awareness about school mental health.

  • Between 14-20% of children and adolescents experience a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder each year, however less than one-third of these youth will receive any treatment to address these concerns.  
  • Of youth who do access mental health services, approximately 75% receive those services in schools.
  • School mental health programs have a positive impact across academic, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes in children and adolescents. For example, studies show:
    • Improvements in behavioral and emotional symptoms
    • Increases in social competency
    • Increases in standardized reading and math test scores
    • Improvements in commitment to school  
    • Increases in school attendance 
    • Increases in grade point average 

Helpful Handouts:


Additional Resources

  • The state superintendent created a video about children's mental health matters school champions. We encourage everyone to view and share the video to spread children's mental health awareness. Video 1   |   Video 2 
  • Children's Mental Health Matters! A Maryland Public Education Campaign  developed a resource kit for families, an extensive list of tips for schools, and other resources for youth, families, and schools to browse to get involved during this nationally recognized week. The CSMH is pleased to be a partner with the Maryland Coalition of Families and the Mental Health Association of Maryland and other agencies and organizations on this campaign.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA)�compiled information, facts and resources for schools, youth, and families related to Children's Mental Health Awareness. Tips and ideas for preparing for Awareness Day are provided and information is shared about how to host local events. SAMHSA also created a list of community events scheduled the U.S. for Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2013.  View�SAMHSA's ideas for raising awareness. 
  • National Federation of Families for Children?s Mental Health offers tips for families and educators for spreading the word about children's mental health awareness. They compiled a list of how to get involved such as wearing green ribbons during Children’s Mental Health Week to spread awareness about the needs of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, and social disabilities and their families across America! The National Federation of Families  developed brief fact sheets and detailed information on Children’s Mental Health, Juvenile Justice, and Recovery & Resiliency. View these helpful documents to learn more about children's mental health.  
  • National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is hosting a legislative briefing program along with the National Federation of Families that will emphasize the importance of effective school- and community-based mental health services for children in honor of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. Tip sheets on raising awareness were developed and are available. In addition, NAMI provides facts on pending legislation, which discusses the critical need to protect children from the harmful use of restraints and seclusion in schools.