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girl in pinkNational Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is a day designed to promote positive youth development, resilience, and recovery. It is also a call for the transformation of mental health services delivery for children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families.

A national event

The 2016 national event will take place on Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m. EDT in Washington, DC, at The George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs’ Jack Morton Auditorium. The event—Awareness Day 2016: “Finding Help, Finding Hope.”—will explore how communities can increase access to behavioral health services and supports for children, youth, and young adults who experience mental or substance use disorders and their families. Register to attend the national event.(link is external)

The event will feature a highly interactive format in which youth and family leaders, educators, law enforcement officials, and behavioral health professionals will discuss how communities can work together to improve access to behavioral health services and supports. The event will be webcast live as a special edition of Knowledge Network for Systems of Care TV (KSOC-TV)(link is external).

Organizations and individuals from communities around the country also will share insights on strategies for overcoming barriers to behavioral health care access. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their perspectives.

In addition, SAMHSA will present a Special Recognition Award to this year’s Honorary Chairperson, Reid Ewing—best known for his role as Dylan on “Modern Family”—for his efforts to promote openness and educate others about mental health.

Event panelists will include SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto and Center for Mental Health Services Director Paolo del Vecchio, MSW, along with Linda Rosenberg, MSW, the president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health.

What you can do locally

Communities, collaborating organizations, and individuals around the country will participate in Awareness Day Live! activities to view the live webcast(link is external) and interact with the onstage discussion by sharing questions, ideas, or insights via email, Twitter, or text. As moderator, NBC4’s Aaron Gilchrist will share questions and comments from viewers around the country onstage. Some Awareness Day Live! activities will be large, community-level gatherings hosted by systems of care or national collaborating organizations, while others will take place within smaller groups.

Viewers are encouraged to use the hashtag #HeroesofHope when participating in the national event discussion on social media.

Communities nationwide can also participate in the national event by:

  • Organizing an Awareness Day Live! viewing event on May 5 at 7 p.m. EDT. Gather a group to watch the live webcast and participate in the onstage discussion via digital or social media using the hashtag #HeroesofHope.
  • Hosting a viewing event of the on-demand version of Awareness Day Live! The event might involve a viewing of all or part of the national webcast, along with a discussion of the unique challenges and opportunities related to behavioral health care access in your community.
  • Join the social media conversation using the hashtag #HeroesofHope. Use the hashtag to share your ideas and perspectives leading up to Awareness Day, during the national observance on May 5, and throughout the month of May.
  • Participating in the Awareness Day 2016 Text, Talk, Act (link is external) conversation. Through text messaging, small groups can receive discussion questions that lead them through a conversation about mental health.

Mental health help for children and families in Delaware

Delaware Guidance ServicesDelaware Guidance Services for Children & Youth, Inc. exists to provide quality mental health services for children, youth, and their families.  DGS believes that all children have a right to good mental health and should have access to quality therapeutic care, regardless of their ability to pay.

The Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services. DPBHS is part of the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.  DPBHS provides a statewide continuum of prevention services, early intervention services, and mental health and substance abuse (behavioral health) treatment programs for children and youth. These services have graduated levels of intensity and restrictiveness that are child-centered and family focused.

Mental Health Association of Delaware. MHA is a statewide, nonprofit organization founded in 1932 to promote mental health. MHA provides services throughout Delaware, with a focus on education, support and advocacy for mental health issues.

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