One in five children in the U.S. lives with a mental health condition and research shows that about 50% of all mental disorders that happen in adulthood can be identified as early as the age of 14.
Learning that your child may have a mental disorder may be challenging, but it’s important to know that children can and do recover from such conditions. Early intervention and access to services and supports is key to supporting every child’s mental health.
Every year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hosts National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day to raise awareness about children’s mental health. The Awareness Day 2016 national event in Washington, DC— “Finding Help. Finding Hope.”—will explore how communities can improve access to behavioral health services and supports for children, youth and young adults with mental and substance use disorders and their families.
This year, parents and caregivers around the country will have the chance to interact with the national event through Awareness Day Live!—an opportunity for families to join the national conversation by viewing the event’s live webcast and posing questions to panelists on stage via digital and social media. You’ll hear from a teacher, a student and a parent about ways to connect with mental health services and supports through the school system.
The event takes place Thurs., May 5, in Washington, DC at 7 p.m. EST at The George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs’ Jack Morton Auditorium. If you are in the district, you can register to attend.
If you can’t make it to the event in-person, here are a few ways you can participate in Awareness Day Live!:
- Watch the live webcast on May 5 at 7 p.m. EST. View the national event webcast.
- Use social media to join the onstage discussion via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #HeroesofHope.
- Your children and youth can organize a group of friends to participate in the Awareness Day 2016 “Text, Talk, Act” discussion on May 5 by texting “START” to 89800. “Text, Talk, Act” is a text messaging platform that leads small groups through a conversation about mental health and how to help a friend in need.
- View the on-demand version of the national event at a later date with a small group, and discuss how children with behavioral health conditions can be better supported in your school.
For more info about National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day or for mental health resources, please visit SAMHSA.gov/children.
Blog credit: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration