Below is a sampling of the more than 1,100 community events that took place in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of children's mental health from birth. In 2012, SAMHSA launched limited piloted "Community Conversations," facilitated dialogues about youth, trauma and resilience. Use the navigation links in the orange box to view events by location, program, and audience.
The East Central Children's Health Collaborative Project (ECCHCO) and the Brundidge Business Association (BBA) partnered to bring awareness about the mental health services available in Pike, Bullock, and Macon counties at a "Springfest" event in Brundidge, AL. At the event, ECCHCO staffed a booth where they distributed information about health services covering nutrition, physical and mental health, and safety as it relates to youth with serious mental health disorders. Children participated in craft projects and a poster contest, while parents entered into a bake-off to vie for "Top Cookie" honors. In addition, the mayors of Brundidge and Troy signed a joint proclamation designating the week of May 6-12 Children's Mental Health Awareness Week in their cities. In total, approximately 40 families represented by as many as 200 people participated in the event.
An Alabama-based social worker with the School Social Work Association of America participated in an art show featuring local artists to promote mental health awareness. At the show, staff hosted a booth with information on mental health and mental health services.
MHC Healthcare held an art show at a local health center that featured the works of children and youth from elementary, middle school, and high school. As part of the event, interactive stations and information were available to the public. The organization also created a "Wall of Heroes," which children contributed to by using their own finger-/hand-/footprints and paint. The final creation was sent to servicemen and -women who are deployed from Davis Monathan Airbase. In addition, special programs were held across the county for K-12 schools, groups serving military families, and other community agencies working in the areas of juvenile justice, welfare, and health services for young people impacted by traumatic events.
The Office of Head Start and the Western Arizona Council of Governments (WACOG) Head Start joined other partners to celebrate Awareness Day with events and activities that focused on the families, friends, caregivers, and others who help children and youth cope with traumatic events. Some of the events included "story time," where children were read books about feelings, family, friendship, community, and good character; "healthy kids day," which encouraged physical and social-emotional development through expression, relaxation, drama, and healthy food choices; an art project where children discussed, read, and drew/painted images about feelings; a bubble-blowing activity to relieve stress; a dance event to encourage physical activity and relieve stress; and a hero event where teachers read a superhero book and children wore their favorite superhero shirt. In total, more than 1,000 people participated, including children, teaching staff, and Head Start staff.
Early Connections and Project LAUNCH teamed up to promote Awareness Day by joining a large community resource fair to raise awareness about children's social-emotional wellness and connect families to local services and supports. At the event, the two groups organized a "Kid Zone" in which children participated in art activities that focused on social-emotional development, including creating mood puppets, "my feelings" collages, masks, and clay modeling. Bilingual staff encouraged children to discuss their art and their feelings, and to bring their art home to talk about it with their parents and caregivers. Early Connections and Project LAUNCH also staffed a "Healthy Minds, Healthy Children" resource table at the community resource fair, where staff handed out fliers with tips for supporting social-emotional development at different ages and local resources for early childhood intervention in Alameda County. The staff also handed out the Project ABC "My Feelings" coloring books to families. Finally, they passed out fliers on developmental screenings being held that day. The event was attended by approximately 2,000 people who collectively spoke more than 12 different languages.
The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services coordinated several events throughout the month of May, including a world premiere of the "Voices that Heal" documentary. The documentary film features interviews with six people who share their experiences with mental illness. The organization also celebrated Awareness Day with a proclamation by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors; a mental health walk; art shows; a barbeque at a peer-run drop-in center; and a suicide prevention workshop.
Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic partnered with Southern California's largest Spanish-language publication, "El Clasificado," to raise awareness among Latino residents through a word puzzle contest that educated 1.5 million readers on the importance of children's mental health and praising children daily. After the contest, on Awareness Day, the Los Angeles City Council declared Children's Mental Health Awareness Day at the Los Angeles City Hall. The organization also distributed "100 Ways to Praise a Child" posters through more than 70 local merchants in South Los Angeles, and distributed bilingual magnets through its Web site. The system of care held its annual "Family FunFest" during the week of Awareness Day, which drew more than 800 local residents in South Los Angeles.
Project ABC hosted two days of celebration and training for professionals and community members working with and parenting children 0-5. All activities centered on the theme of Creating Heroes, the localized version of the national Heroes of Hope theme. The training workshop promoted the use of narrative, creative arts, and cognitive behavioral interventions by therapists to rebuild safety, trust, and hope for children who have experienced trauma. Research on the impact of trauma and the power of attachments was summarized and presented as the foundation for work on rebuilding attachment with children who have experienced trauma. The Real Life Heroes model was introduced as a structured intervention having shown promise in therapy with children who have experienced abuse, neglect, family violence, and placements into foster family and group care. Project ABC also hosted a community event using the theme "Creating Heroes," which included activities for children aged 0-5 and the adults that care for them. Activities included music, story time, art activities, and presentations from local experts. This free event brought together more than 125 community members, professionals, and children who learned how to compile their very own Hero Kit, complete with materials to support mindfulness and breathing, joint art and cooking projects, and a family hero cape. Project ABC ended the month of May by presenting their Creating Heroes materials at a resource fair organized by a local adult mental health provider clinic.
Urban Trails San Francisco held a youth workshop with the theme "Healing our Community," that was facilitated by a film expert. The workshop focused on creative and critical reflection through film and the community healing process. Through skill-building, community-based history classes, outings, dialogs, and focus groups, Urban Trails was able to develop a video exhibit showcasing the artistic skill, strength, and resiliency of its urban Native youth. Approximately 75 people participated.
The Colorado Department of Human Services held community conversations to communicate that children and youth can demonstrate resilience following traumatic experiences with the help of caring adults and informed child-serving systems. Local groups were encouraged to offer individuals attending Awareness Day events an opportunity to become a "Hero of Hope" by making a pledge to take action to help a child or youth. The organization also held its annual event in Denver, where young people shared their stories of resiliency and identified their personal heroes who have supported them through their experiences.
The Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center provided a link from its Web site to SAMHSA's National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day page to raise awareness about children's mental health.
Delaware's B.E.S.T. for Young Children and Their Families partnered with Wilmington Blue Rocks to "Go Green for Children's Mental Health" during a baseball game on April 28 with live and broadcast promotions of upcoming Awareness Day events. In addition, Delaware's B.E.S.T. held a two-day conference; partnered with Rita's Water Ice to "Get the Scoop on Mental Health" with free water ice and information sharing; engaged early child care centers in using a new emotional wellness curriculum called "The Way I Feel"; and showcased Early Care and Education Centers with visiting dignitaries via the new curriculum and a mental health awareness community conversation. In total, these activities reached or involved 20,000 people.
The D.C. Department of Mental Health worked with Mayor Vincent Gray who proclaimed May 9 as Children's Mental Health Day.
FACES of Miami and the Federation of Families Miami-Dade Chapter celebrated national Children's Mental Health Awareness Day by holding the second Youth and Family Empowerment Summit that included youth performances; recognition awards presented to system leaders, staff, and families; and breakout sessions for summit attendees. Approximately 450 people attended.
The Florida Department of Children and Families, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office, issued a video press release featuring the SAMH Assistant Secretary and its Director and Chief of Mental Health to raise awareness and feature its initiatives and successes related to mental health. It also facilitated several blogs relevant to mental health; held the third annual Peer Conference, which focused on "Peer Spirit" to encourage involvement in leadership and advocacy and to promote new wellness tools; broadcast daily wellness tips encouraging all individuals to be mindful of the importance of mental health; supported State activities and events through the use of press releases and coordination with regional communications departments; and linked with the mental health treatment facilities and coordinated promotion of their planned activities.
Orange County Government, Family Services-Wraparound Orange Children's Mental Health hosted its annual "Healthy Minds Healthy Lives" Family Fun Day in celebration of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day in Orange County. Attendees learned about the slogan "Mental Health is a Good Thing," which emphasized that healthy development includes both physical and mental health. It also highlighted the role that citizens and the community at large have to play to embrace and support this concept as they strive to make meaningful differences in the lives of children and families. For instance, the Department of Juvenile Justice coordinated more than 50 youth on probation to serve as event volunteers in exchange for community service hours. This was considered a major contribution to the event and allowed these youth to have a positive impact in the form of service to others. Other event collaborators included United Behavioral Health, the Department of Children and Families, Community Based Care of Central Florida, Orange County Parks and Recreation, Orange County Fire and Rescue, Wraparound Orange Children's Mental Health Initiative, the Pine Hills Neighborhood Center for Families, as well as other community-based organizations. Overall, the event brought together more than 30 vendors from the public and private sector and more than 400 children and families in need.
Para Todu presented awards to Systems of Care School Champions; facilitated a mass for child service-providers; obtained an Awareness Day proclamation by the Governor of Guam; organized a "Community Wave" with other child care agencies to promote awareness of Children's Mental Health; and coordinated an art event called "Everyday Heroes" to celebrate Heroes of Hope. Approximately 50-60 people attended the Systems of Care School Champions event, 40-50 people attended the proclamation signing, and about 100 people attended and participated in waving to the community.
Project Karinu, Department of Public Health and Social Services, held the following activities in support of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day: a proclamation signing by the Governor of Guam; a "community wave" event involving families and other agencies; presentations of the "Incredible Years"; a "meet and greet" to mobilize families; and an open house.
ACCESS Initiative's Awareness Day activities centered on the theme "Journey to Resilience ... Bouncing Back." Specifically, the system of care held a bullying awareness summit, a Ribbon Day related to faith-based outreach, a resilience walk, a stakeholder luncheon, a provider training, a youth awareness talent showcase, a professional networking event, and a block party. These activities were promoted through announcements on the system of care's Web site, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and e-mail submissions to a Listserv. In addition the system of care distributed posters and fliers and ran radio ads on a popular local station. They also distributed wristbands and promotional discount postcards. In total, 54 youth, family members, providers, and community members attended the Bullying Awareness Summit, with 39 participants signing a "Respect Anti-Bullying Pledge"; 60 youth, family members, providers, and community members participated in the resilience walk; 42 stakeholders attended the luncheon; 45 providers and community members attended the training ; 230 youth, family members, and community members attended the talent showcase; 63 stakeholders, providers, and community members attended the networking event; and 150 youth, family members, providers, and community members attended the "CMHA Block Party."
Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County partnered with the local Head Start program to lead more than 200 Latino pre-schoolers in an activity focused on feelings. In addition, they sponsored the reading of the book, "The Way I Feel" by Janan Cain. Following the reading, each child was given a paper quilt piece titled "I Feel" on which they drew a picture of how they felt. The quilt pieces were then sewn together and displayed at the open house of the McHenry County Mental Health Board.
Project Connect held "Walk the Block" events in three counties, obtained mayoral proclamations, distributed green ribbons to school-age children, supported green bow-making events, conducted a local television interview with two family resource developers, included an Awareness Day announcement on Project Connect commercials, purchased full-page ads in free-to-consumer newspapers, and held a green ribbon quilt raffle.
The Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Indiana Department of Education, Mental Health America of Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Health, Riley Child Development Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, and Indiana Association for Infant and Toddler Mental Health collectively worked with several families and young people who received or were receiving mental health services to develop a public service announcement (PSA) about the promotion of positive mental health in all children. They also helped establish the first official Indiana chapter of Youth M.O.V.E.; organized a photo project about reducing stigma and increasing self-esteem; coordinated a gubernatorial proclamation; held an open house for government offices, and drafted several newsletter articles. The Division of Mental Health and Addiction also posted a Children's Mental Health widget on its Web site that linked to the Awareness Day Web page.
Children's Mental Health Initiative of Northeast Iowa partnered with Lutheran Services in Iowa and The Family Circle to host a one-day conference on trauma-informed care and alternatives to seclusion and restraint. It was attended by 166 individuals including family members, consumers, educators, clinicians, social workers, family support partners, nurses, psychiatrists, and psychologists.
In Kansas, a reception was held for new SAMHSA Regional Administrator Laura Howard with 30 State legislators, along with parents, to view the Webcast from the national event and to talk about children’s mental health.
Kentucky's System to Enhance Early Development (KY SEED) partnered with Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children, Inc. to hold a statewide event at the State Capitol. Approximately 100-150 partners, child-serving agencies, State representatives, and youth and parent speakers attended. The event also included several information tables with children's mental health and military family resources. KY SEED also had a giant green ribbon cupcake display and a balloon release by the youth on Kentucky's Statewide Youth Council. Each balloon had mental health facts inside.
The Orleans Parish Juvenile Court SAMHSA SOC Expansion Planning Grant distributed ribbons and literature on mental health throughout the week of Awareness Day. On the day itself, the system of care hosted a Speak Up For Kids talk covering teen depression.
A local chapter of the national Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, Youth M.O.V.E. National, THRIVE, G.E.A.R. Parent Program and its F.A.C.E.S. program collaborated to celebrate Awareness Day in Maine. Together, these organizations: collaborated to hold a tailgate kickoff; distributed Awareness Day materials; publicized a tree planting; hosted a table during a local jazz concert; held an Awareness Day walk; coordinated a "Pledge to Protect"; distributed media releases; implemented various Web promotions; and engaged in multiple person-to-person promotions.
Maryland Cares (MD Cares) was involved in numerous Awareness Day events across the State, including: a flash mob at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore City with 100 dancers; a reception with the State's First Lady Katie O'Malley; a block party with 400 families; a video with Maryland Governor O'Malley proclaiming Children's Mental Health Awareness Week; and the development and distribution of Awareness Day information and promotion kits. Other events included: "B'More" Healthy Expo; Children's Mental Health Awareness poster reception; an event at That Bouncey Place in Harford County; National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day congressional briefing; Baltimore City Family Resource Fair; television interviews on mental health; decorating malls with awareness posters; resource tables at a Delmarva Shorebirds Baseball game; distribution of Awareness Day kits at the Maryland State Department of Education Partners for Success Conference; a Hope for Families in Hagerstown at which Rita's Ice provided treats while families got information on local resources; an information table at the NAMI Walk in Baltimore; a Webinar on bullying; and a seminar on bullying at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Proclamations also were issued by several Maryland counties and cities as well, including Allegany County, Talbot County, and the city of Baltimore.
The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health partnered with several local agencies and sponsored several mental health awareness activities, including a walk-a-thon; poster sessions and contests; informational workshops and sessions; T-shirt displays; a youth recognition ceremony; a quilting event; social events for families; parent support meetings; paint your own pottery art activities; a family golf outing; group exercise classes; community stakeholder meetings; and a legislative breakfast. Attendance for each event varied based on location, activity type, and attendance capacity of each event.
MYCHILD collaborated with its local Children's Museum to host an all-day event to bring awareness of childhood mental health to the larger community and the community served by its programs. Activities were created to promote awareness of social and emotional development in children ages 0 to 8. The activities included Feel-it Bingo, Tucker the Turtle Learns to Express Himself, Float Your Feelings Up to the Sky, Family Yoga, Meet the Therapy Dog, and Talking Drums. Music from the Boston Longwood Symphony also helped participants relax. More than 100 caretakers and children from the community were bused to the museum, and more than 300 other visitors who were at the museum that day also got to learn more about children's mental health and to participate in the activities.
Garrett-Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention hosted a Children's Mental Health Awareness Day event at its facility that involved numerous organizations from the community. During the event, children, youth, and their caregivers were provided T-shirts. Some participants, including providers, were interviewed on video about mental health-related topics. Footage from the event will be made available on the system of care's Web site.
Kalamazoo Wraps System of Care Community held an Awareness Day carnival to educate the public about children's mental health issues, services available to youth and their families, and how best to access those services. The carnival had more than 2,800 participants, including more than 150 staff at carnival booths, 100 volunteers, 50 entertainers, and 2,500 attendees.
The Our Children Succeed Initiative celebrated Awareness Day by initiating a community information campaign. This included mailing mental health information to local households, distributing posters and handouts through retailers located across six counties, giving away green ribbon pins and information to local community members, and posting mental health awareness displays at hospitals, clinics, and health fairs.
commUNITY cares held a Family Fun Day to celebrate Awareness Day, a 3-hour outdoor event at the local city park. During the event, families were provided mental health information, participated in carnival-type games, and enjoyed food and beverages. A local DJ played family-friendly music, while the City of Hattiesburg's mascot, Hardy the Frog, provided additional entertainment. Between 300 and 350 people participated.
Hinds Behavioral Health Services-Region 9 celebrated Awareness Day by coordinating with therapists to conduct a "Feeling Flower" activity with their groups and then displaying the artwork in the Children's Services office lobby; offering free children's mental health screenings; distributing informational fliers about trauma and resilience; disseminating public service announcements that were played on multiple local television and radio stations; and by holding a Staff Appreciation Breakfast.
NFusion held a "Fun Day in the Park" for Awareness Day that included games, face painting, and food for families and youth. NFusion also worked with local schools to promote children's mental health by having students wear green on Awareness Day. Approximately 100 people attended the Fun Day in the Park event and as many as 300 students wore green.
Mississippi Transitional Outreach Project and NFusion partnered with several community agencies and organizations to hold an open house where they introduced the NFusion project and discussed its committees and meetings. The open house also had "icebreakers" to encourage interagency communication and collaboration, as well as the participation of families and youth. Participants enjoyed food and games, and were provided fliers and goodie bags with NFusion materials. Approximately 30 people attended. In addition, the system of care partnered with the Department of Mental Health, NFusion X, Catholic Charities, Mississippi Families as Allies, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Greater Bethlehem Temple Church to host the "Be Your Best Treasure Quest," which was an interactive event designed to help families and youth learn about mental health.
The Clark County Children's Mental Health Consortium partnered with Clark County School District, Nevada PEP, and local behavioral health providers to undertake Awareness Day activities at a local middle school, including information sessions and a poster contest that reached approximately 300 students.
The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, a chapter of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics New Jersey Chapter; Family Support Organization of Essex County, New Jersey; Alliance of Family Support Organizations; the Mental Health Association of Essex County, Inc.; the New Jersey Department of Health; the New Jersey Department of Children and Families; and the New Jersey Department of Human Services to facilitate a Statewide Webinar on integrating mental health into primary care. The Webinar also addressed a new pilot project to provide pediatricians and family practitioners with consultation from child and adolescent psychiatrists, and to provide families with support services. The Webinar was attended by more than 50 primary care providers and community organizations.
The New Mexico Human Services Department celebrated Awareness Day with a gubernatorial proclamation, as well as several events throughout the month of May that were sponsored or supported by the Department's various community collaborators. These events included meetings, Webinars, and information sharing among families and local organizations; a "Youth Jam" planned by young people with the support of adults that focused on suicide and substance use reduction; a "Youth Creating Change" film festival and art gallery that featured short films and a public service announcement by middle and high school students; coloring placemats developed by local youth that were distributed to schools and businesses; a youth scavenger hunt; a community dinner; a youth concert; a 5K walk event; art projects; puppet shows; and a mental health awareness picnic.
The New Mexico System of Care began its Awareness Day activities in February, when it invited members of the community to attend Behavioral Health/Mental Health Day at the State Legislature. A group of approximately 60 youth, families, and system of care stakeholders attended a tour of the Capitol, met with representatives and legislators, and visited informational resource tables. In May, these planning activities paid dividends through several activities that took place in the State, such as information sessions, Webinars, and presentations; a presentation by Puerto Rican Boxing legend José Antonio Rivera, who spoke about overcoming obstacles and barriers; a "Youth Jam" resource fair and youth art/talent event that brought together more than 300 people; proclamations by local governments; a youth film festival featuring short films and public service announcements; discussions of documentaries; coloring placemats that were distributed to local schools and businesses; resource information boards that were developed by local youth; a scavenger hunt; a community dinner; an event with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter; local mental health walks; educational activities for children and youth; puppet shows; free health screenings; and a local picnic.
Chautauqua Tapestry held several Awareness Day events that involved 350 people. These activities included a window-painting activity involving youth; a dinner for youth and families; an evaluation symposium to facilitate the sharing of evaluation data among local agencies and organizations; a mental health "first aid" training; a suicide awareness and prevention kickoff event; a Heroes of Hope poster contest; and a public outreach campaign that featured different child-, youth-, and family-serving agencies and organizations. The majority of events involved partnerships with other organizations throughout the community and State.
Compeer, Inc. celebrated Awareness Day by emailing its U.S. affiliates to encourage them to participate in Awareness Day and by promoting Awareness Day on its Web site, social media, and blog sites. Compeer, Inc. also organized a Green Ribbon Gala, an evening of education and creativity for families that included a poster contest display; talks about feelings at eight elementary schools; a workshop with young speakers who shared what helps them most in school and in their mental health experiences; and a community balloon launch. Each of these events reached, on average, 100 to 150 people.
Erie County Children's System of Care held a mental health awareness conference and luncheon using the theme "Hope, Resilience, and Possibilities." A local television news reporter served as the master of ceremonies. The conference included a variety of workshops and a film screening. Workshop titles included: Driving Meaningful Change: Transforming Ideas Into Reality; Engaging Father and Male Role Models; Individualized Education Program (IEP) 2012 Changes and Understanding Special Ed.; Yoga Benefits for Mind and Body; Youth Leadership; Bringing Rhythm to Life Through Drumming; Creating Partnerships and Engaging Families in Juvenile Justice Through the Eyes of Family Advocacy; Effective Communication: Helping Families and Professionals Work Together; Mental Health Benefits of Yoga as Relaxation Therapy; and Social Media: Networking Safety and Unintended Consequences of Misuse. The film screening featured a youth-made documentary about female-on-female bullying.
Nassau County Family Support System of Care held a carnival at the request of its families. The system of care partnered with several local organizations, including Hempstead Boys and Girls Club, to plan the event. As many as 100 people attended the carnival.
The Orange County System of Care partnered with a local family and youth organization for a 5K "fun walk," a professional development conference, and a mind and body wellness event to celebrate Awareness Day.
The Alamance Alliance for Children and Families observed Awareness Day with a social marketing effort called "Behind the Seen: Encounters with the Contemporary Family." This project sparked 16 articles and a documentary about the lives of four Alamance County families, which raised awareness of the challenges related to the mental health of children up to 6 years old. The event also included an opening exhibition and documentary preview in Burlington, NC, with additional exhibitions scheduled to appear throughout the State.
BECOMING kicked off Awareness Day with its "Making A Difference Breakfast and Awards" to recognize and celebrate those who have made a difference in the lives of Durham-area families using a system of care approach. The keynote speaker for the event was a Chief District Court Judge. Following the breakfast, BECOMING held a series of 1-hour workshops throughout the day on various topics, including The Effects of Trauma on Children; Drumming Up Hope; WRAP Session; Improving Cross-Cultural Communication with Families; Discussion with the Durham Workgroup on Disproportionate Minority Contact; Stewards of Children Training (Preventing Child Sex Abuse); and Easy Workplace Yoga and Relaxation Techniques. They also held a screening of "Cry for Help" (Teenage Depression and Suicide). On average, 20 people attended each of the workshops. The day ended with a bubble launch from several elementary schools.
Circles of Care held a kickoff event titled "Revitalizing Native American Youth, Families, and Community Wellness." The event focused on educating the local Native American community about Circles of Care. About 100 people participated.
Clermont FAST TRAC participated in Awareness Day by supporting "My Feelings Are a Work of Art" activities throughout the month of May. The goal was to raise awareness of children's mental health needs; demonstrate how children's mental health initiatives promote positive youth development, recovery, and resilience; and show how children with mental health needs thrive in the community. FAST TRAC provided art supplies and support to youth in community programs and schools. Partners included: FAST TRAC Youth Advisory Group, Juvenile Court, Clermont Board of Developmental Disabilities, Genesis School, Boys and Girls Clubs, Child Focus Wasserman Youth and Adolescent Center, Foster Care, Head Start, Bilingual Preschools, and various school partners. More than 970 children and youth across Clermont County participated.
JOURNEY to Successful Living celebrated Awareness Day with a Heroes of Hope banquet, which was attended by more than 60 people. At the banquet, the system of care distributed reprints of Brad Meltzer's book "Heroes For My Son." Other activities included a mayoral proclamation; a "Fair on the Square" with Mental Health America; an Ohio Resiliency Ring sponsored by the Ohio Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health; NAMIWalks; a Green Ribbon campaign; the display of the National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day icon on the Fountain Square LED Board in downtown Cincinnati; a public service announcement; coloring books and balloon activities for youth; and an online and traditional media (radio, television, and print) campaign.
Cherokee Nation SOC hosted a "Kids Zone" at a local barbecue festival. Tables in the "Kids Zone" promoted drug prevention and positive social youth activities, general mental health awareness and access to local mental health resources. Approximately 500 people participated in the event. Awareness Day partners included the South Grand Lake Lions Club and Grove CAN. Additionally, the SOC Cherokee Nation in Bartlesville held a "H'Art of the Child" art event that reached approximately 350 children and families with messages promoting healthy children and self-esteem.
Oklahoma System of Care celebrated Awareness Day by holding its annual "Mayfest," which had more than 20 informational booths staffed by local agencies and organizations, games and prizes for children, community awards, coloring and poster contests, and free food for attendees. More than 250 people attended.
Pontotoc County System of Care hosted a family fun night at a local park to celebrate Awareness Day. There were 11 information and activity booths hosted by community agencies, free food, and an "Eat Better, Move More" walk around the park. The event's partners included the Ada Regional United Way, a local church, and local banks. More than 500 people attended the event.
Protecting the Future held a youth leadership summit with the theme "Putting a Face to Mental Health," as well as a balloon release with a local child care organization to celebrate Awareness Day. More than 100 people participated in these events.
Nak Nu Wit held its Awareness Day event at Concordia University under its own culturally specific theme that also reflected the national focus of reducing stigma and eliminating trauma. At the event, Native American disc jockey and performer Marcus Guinn (AKA EmceeOne) performed. Partners included Concordia University, Portland Two-Spirit Society, Planned Parenthood, Beaverton School District and Portland Public Schools, Child Protective Services, Oregon Youth Authority, National Indian Parenting Information Center, and Portland Parks and Recreation, among others. Other related events that occurred throughout the year included a summer camp with a fun run/walk; a back-to-school picnic; a community meal and a talent and art show; and a community service project. Approximately 250 people participated in the Concordia University Awareness Day event.
Beaver County Behavioral Health held an exhibit at the Beaver Valley Mall to show support for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The exhibit was located around the center mall fountain and was attended by more than 100 people. Beaver County Behavioral Health partnered with providers, as well as managed care, educational, and consumer organizations to plan the event and host activities and materials such as balloon art, face painting, juggling, arts and crafts, planting activities, giveaways, and a basket raffle. SAMHSA’s Awareness Day Short Report and "Heroes for My Son" booklet were available at the exhibit, along with a family support document that lists support groups in Beaver County. Before the event, about 25 percent of attendees said they were not aware or only slightly familiar with children’s trauma and resilience. At the end of the event, about 65 percent of attendees said that they were more aware of children’s trauma and resilience. To promote the event, providers posted the event details on their Facebook pages, Heroes of Hope fliers were posted and mailed to various areas of the community, and planning meetings were held. The community will host a follow-up meeting with the planning committee. The planning committee includes providers, community members, family members, and consumers.
Pennsylvania System of Care Partnership held a "Youth Day at the Capitol" with the Magellan MY LIFE youth groups and Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. At the event, youth leadership groups from around the Commonwealth raised awareness for mental health and foster care issues and also identified system changes that can better support youth in the fulfillment of career aspirations and the development of healthy, rewarding lives. The system of care and its partners also held a press conference at a local school to promote Awareness Day and awareness of trauma, youth violence, and depression as they affect youth in the Philadelphia area. In addition, the system of care worked with its partners to facilitate a youth symposium, bowling event, information sessions, and a "Zoo Day." More than 500 people participated in these events.
Federation of Families of South Carolina/SAMHSA Statewide Family Networks held its annual rally at the State Capitol on Awareness Day. The program included information about trauma and military families, and youth shared their stories. Local media attended this event, which resulted in coverage on the evening news. Four additional events were also held in different locations to raise awareness about children's mental health.
The Tiwahe Glu Kini Pi ("Bringing the Family Back to Life") System of Care held a "trauma-informed care" presentation that covered the effects of experiencing a traumatic event on children, evidence-based prevention and recovery strategies, ways for Native people to cope with trauma, and methods to focus resources and implement programs that promote recovery from trauma. The system of care also conducted an art activity for children in grades K-5 under the theme of "Heroes for Hope." More than 150 people participated in these activities.
Early Connections Network worked with a local university and several area agencies and organizations. Materials were provided for agencies to display and distribute.
Just Care Network celebrated Awareness Day by co-sponsoring a community health fair with its local child welfare and foster care agency; holding a full partnership meeting that included a youth and family celebration; supporting youth presentations of evaluation projects; facilitating a mayoral proclamation; sponsoring a "wipe out stigma" celebration, organized by youth and which included original poetry readings and musical performances by youth; and hosting a town hall meeting on children's mental health in Shelby County. Approximately 250 people participated in these events.
The Border Children's Mental Health Collaborative hosted a community event at a local park in honor of children's mental health. The 200 attendee event provided the community with mental health information from 30 local agencies, free hot dogs, drinks, entertainment, and education. The event was promoted by 30 committee members who distributed flyers at local schools, stores, and mental health agencies. In addition, Border Children's Mental Health Collaborative sent out a major press release to reach out to different members of the community.
The Children and Youth Behavioral Health Subcommittee of the Williamson County Mental Health Taskforce held a public event, attended by 60 people at the Williamson County Court House, prior to a Commissioners Court. The event showcased local youth art submissions to the State contest and two youth spoke about their art and poetry. The keynote address was given by Dr. Regina Cavanaugh, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Lone Star Circle of Care, encouraging parents and other adults to be "Heroes of Hope." She also introduced the 40 Developmental Assets as the building blocks of healthy youth development. The event was followed by the reading of a resolution in Commissioners Court recognizing the formation of the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Subcommittee of Williamson County and Awareness Day. The Subcommittee meets monthly in Williamson County and consists of school districts, private and non-profit organizations, and public agencies. The event was promoted through a county press release and mass email. The keynote address is now available at wilcomentalhealth.org in the youth section.
The Children's Partnership sponsored and collaborated on a city of Austin proclamation for Awareness Day; a Travis County resolution; a Webinar on mental health "first aid"; the distribution of green ribbons and fact cards; a youth presentation; free training for providers; and a display at the Texas State Capitol to promote awareness and decrease stigma. They also collaborated with the Department of State Health Services on a Statewide poster, writing, and video contest.
Hand in Hand celebrated Awareness Day by hosting a ventriloquist act that featured mental health messages at two Head Start locations. Approximately 200 children and teachers attended.
Harris County Systems of Hope focused on delivering mental health awareness information and distributing snacks and water to community members. Two simultaneous events were held at the Northside Community Clinic and the Sunnyside Multi-Service Center to distribute information. At Sunnyside the staff conducted a discussion session with parents. Both events were attended by 350 community members. To promote the event, Harris County Systems of Hope distributed flyers at the centers in advance.
MHMR of Nueces County held various events in support of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, including the distribution of "Children's Mental Health Matters" wristbands in the community. A proclamation was read by the Mayor at the Corpus Christi City Council and the County Judge at the Nueces County Commissioners Court. MHMR of Nueces County also partnered with local AA baseball team the Corpus Christi Hooks for a game on May 8. The Corpus Christi Hooks provided half-price tickets and engaged staff and youth with various events during the game. A young member of the MHMR of Nueces County submitted a collage to the Statewide Children's Mental Health Awareness Creativity Contest and won first prize in her age group. The collage was displayed at the capitol with the other artwork. In addition, the community held a "Circle of Hope Bust the Stigma Bubble" activity during a family partnership training event that was covered in the local newspaper. All events were attended by approximately 80 people.
The Texas Department of State Health Services, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services sponsored its first Children's Mental Health Awareness Creativity Contest; held a Statewide poetry contest; supported an exhibit and distributed materials at the Texas State Capitol; and facilitated the creation of a Texas suicide prevention application for smartphones to celebrate Awareness Day.
Texas Panhandle Centers Behavioral and Developmental Health held the third annual Texas Panhandle Centers (TPC) Children's Services Carnival. For the past two years, TPC has held this event in recognition of Awareness Day to provide a fun experience at the end of the school year for families that may not have resources available. To promote the event flyers were distributed to families currently engaged in treatment. The carnival was attended by children, youth, and their families. One young attendee said, "This is the best thing we have done all year!"
The Youth in Transition Grant hosted two information booths that promoted positive mental wellness: one in the Vermont Department of Health and the other in the lobby of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health office building. The information tables reached more than 75 people.
Safe Schools/Healthy Students provided mental health information and resources to middle schools and high schools in the area. Mental health resources were distributed in support of Awareness Day, including a Healthy Mind Worksheet and a mental health poster. The Healthy Mind Worksheet described steps to keeping a healthy body and mind. The mental health poster promoted the following message, "One-in-five teens will experience sadness or depression that keeps them from regular activities. Getting help matters. Talking to a counselor at your school can help."
The System of Care Expansion Planning Grant in Richmond hosted a Statewide children's mental health awareness event with a primary audience of child-serving agency directors, local community service board representatives, public and private child-serving agencies, and family/youth representatives. The event emphasized the importance of positive mental health to a child's healthy development from birth through young adulthood. It also stressed the development of an interagency system of care that meets the needs of children with mental health and substance abuse problems and their families by improving the care for these young citizens and supporting their families.
Yakima Valley System of Care and Project LAUNCH held a "Family Field Day" and "Let's Lei Off Stigma" event. The Family Field Day event was in collaboration with the Yakima Greenway Foundation, primary sponsor with Subway®, in partnership with Fit Kids USA, Solarity Credit Union, and the Central Washington University Dietetic Interns. "Let's Lei Off Stigma" involved several activities and games, as well as a puppet show to teach children how to cope with anxiety and stress and identify a range of emotions. Approximately 1,500 people enrolled in the Family Field Day event and more than 400 participated in "Let's Lei Off Stigma."
Administration for Children and Families (ACF) posted an announcement of Awareness Day and their continued support this year on their Web page, http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/about/history/NationalChildren.html, to encourage Head Start programs to host events and share stories about "Heroes of Hope" throughout the month of May.
The American Art Therapy Association supplied artwork for the art exhibit portion of The Child Mind Institute's Awareness Day reception in Washington, DC. The organization also provided materials for the Awareness Day Web page.
The American Dance Therapy Association provided resources for the Awareness Day Web page, which included a tip sheet about how dance and movement can help build healthy development and learning.
The American Music Therapy Association produced a tip sheet for the Awareness Day Web page about how music can be an ally in strengthening a child's resilience.
Building Blocks for a Healthy Future promoted Awareness Day on their Web page by directing their visitors to the SAMHSA Web page for information about helping children grow up to be healthy and happy. The article also provided audience-specific tips of helping children achieve a healthy future.
Brad Meltzer is a New York Times bestselling author known for books such as "Heroes for My Son" and "Heroes for My Daughter." To show his support of Awareness Day, Mr. Meltzer provided select vignettes from "Heroes for My Son" to be used as a Community Conversation resource. The "Heroes for My Son" Awareness Day booklet features the inspiring tales of modern-day heroes and prominent figures such as Nelson Mandela and Anne Sullivan, with room at the end of the booklet for readers to write about their own heroes as part of their Awareness Day activities. The booklet is available for download at http://bradmeltzer.com/awarenessday/.
The Center for Adoption Support and Education spread the word about National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day by sending an announcement that featured information about adopted children's adolescent and childhood trauma after experiencing abuse, neglect, and abandonment. The announcement also included information about Training for Adoption Competency (TAC), a specialized training program that trains clinicians to become adoption-competent.
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools provided two resources to be used for educator-specific Community Conversations. These resources focused on grantee communities' success stories and an infographic about the impacts of school-based behavioral and emotional health interventions on student educational performance.
The Child Mind Institute sponsored this year's Awareness Day reception, gave an onstage announcement regarding children's mental health, and provided toolkits for communities hosting events and speakers at events as part of the Community Conversation resource list on the Awareness Day Web page.
The Children's Mental Health Network sent weekly e-blast updates with a circulation of 17,000. These e-updates included information about Awareness Day, what communities are doing to promote it and how communities can get involved.
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) sent an email blast to 155 CADCA members in the Washington, DC, area to promote the national Awareness Day event. It included a link to the event's registration site.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) provided a handbook as a resource for parents and caregivers to talk with youth about underage drinking and its dangers.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provided articles the organization has published as part of the Community Conversations resources covering topics such as promoting resilience in young children, addressing challenges and building coping skills, and building teacher/family relationships to improve children's academic performance.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provided resources to be used in Community Conversations across the country. These resources included links to art-related Webinars and lists of State and regional art organizations.
Project LAUNCH promoted Awareness Day in the February issue of its newsletter. This issue included information about communicating the message of investing in children's mental health, links to the pledge form, templates, an event checklist, and Awareness Day graphics and fliers. In this issue, Project LAUNCH also shared information about using social media to increase support for early childhood policies. Project LAUNCH also shared a link to strategies on improving services on their Web page as a Community Conversation resource.
Sesame Street provided several resources for the Awareness Day Web page as a resource for organizations hosting art-related events catered to young children.
Stop Alcohol Abuse Web site promoted Awareness Day under the "Research and Resources in the News" section on their Web page by posting a description of the Awareness Day mission and a link to SAMHSA Short Reports.
The Society for the Arts provided resources for art-related Community Conversations, which included links to Webinars about the use of arts in the self-care of health practitioners, effective community partnerships, and visual art exhibits in health care settings.
VSA (The International Organization on Arts and Disability) provided a link to their Web page as a resource for communities to use in their Community Conversations. Their Web page includes information about arts in schools, school performances, and performances for young audiences.
Wisconsin Family Ties provided a link to their Web site as a resource for Community Conversations involving music. Their Web site has information about events, support groups, and a newsletter targeted to children and adolescents with mental health issues.
ZERO TO THREE, as a member of the Executive Planning Committee, helped promote Awareness Day through a tip sheet catered to Head Start sites about participating in Awareness Day to support the mental health of infants, toddlers, and families year-round. ZERO TO THREE also shared a resource for military families that included information about training events, online training modules, and a Research and Resilience Monograph on the Awareness Day Web page.
The Royal Edinburgh Hospital launched the Edinburgh Healthy Reading Scheme to coincide with Awareness Day on May 9 at a local library. The Healthy Reading Scheme is a resource list of mental health reading materials, CDs, CD-ROMs, and Web sites for children, young people, and families. These resources were recommended by staff from the NHS Lothian's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and are available at Edinburgh libraries. At the event, local author Nicola Morgan presented her book "Blame my Brain," which is one of the resources listed. More than 50 representatives from among local government, health, high school students, guidance teachers, and local organizations were invited to the event.
Ivette Torres of SAMHSA was asked to participate in the first release of Colombia's National Alcohol and Drug Use Youth Survey during the week of April 24–28 in Bogotá, Colombia. Colombia hosted a high-level panel related to issues that surfaced from the survey. Ms. Torres spoke about Recovery Month and Awareness Day.
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Office of Head Start (OHS) sent email blasts to more than 2,800 Head Start and Early Head Start programs to encourage them to hold events, visit SAMHSA's and Head Start's Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center Web pages for additional resources, and to submit stories about their Heroes of Hope. Participating programs used dance, music, and arts-and-craft materials for children, parents, and communities to express themselves and learn about ways to support children's social and emotional development. As part of ACF protocol, programs and parents discussed the importance of focusing on children's social and emotional development and supporting them through traumatic events. About 85 percent of participants stated that the events had increased their knowledge of children's social and emotional development. Head Start and Early Head Start programs worked in collaboration with several community organizations to plan and host these events. ACF and OHS hopes that these efforts will result in early identification, expedited referrals, early treatment, support for families, and more advocacy for children. OHS already plans to begin promoting National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2013 in the fall of 2012.
The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) promoted Awareness Day by sharing information about the initiative, including a link to the Web page with its grantee sites.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and United States Department of Health and Human Services representatives met with this year's Awareness Day Honorary Chair, Cyndi Lauper. They met at HUD headquarters on May 10, 2012, to talk about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) youth homelessness.
The Indian Health Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services promoted Awareness Day on its Web site. The featured content included information about common mental health problems, national children's mental health statistics, and a list of resources. The list of resources included links to the Awareness Day Web page, SAMHSA's 2010 Short Report, and SAMHSA's Mental Health Services Locator.
The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) featured information and links of SAMHSA's 2012 Short Report and the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families Webinar on an edition of the June Weekly Update. To further promote children's mental health awareness, NRCPFC posted Awareness Day messages on their Facebook page.
NCWD/Youth – The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth showed their support of Awareness Day by posting a guest blog by Lisa Rubenstein promoting children's mental health and the national event in Washington, DC. The blog post was posted on their Web site on May 2, at http://www.ncwd-youth.info/blog/?p=492.
The National Institute of Mental Health hosted a panel of children's mental health researchers on May 10, 2012, to discuss neuroscience research findings related to teen brain development, cognition, emotional and behavioral growth, and treatment for teens. The webcast of the event titled, "The Developing Brain: What it Means for Treating Adolescents" is available at http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?Live=11109.
The Office of Adolescent Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services compiled Awareness Day information to share for the "20 Cities" White House Office of Public Engagement Initiative. This information would be used as a resource at roundtables with adolescents and young adults who discuss initiatives serving young adults.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services promoted Awareness Day by featuring information about the national event in the HHS News Briefing for May 3, 2012. The HHS News Briefing is sent to the Department's secretary and senior staff.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency (OJJDP) Prevention exhibited their support of Awareness Day by sharing an article titled, "DOJ, OJJDP Observe National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day" in their bi-monthly newsletter OJJDP News @ a Glance. The article can be viewed at http://www.ojjdp.gov/newsletter/238636/sf_2.html.