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National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is May 3, 2011!

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is a key strategy of the Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign (the Campaign), which is part of the Public Awareness and Support Strategic Initiative by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The Campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health and that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth. This year, the national theme will focus on building resilience in young children dealing with trauma.

Communities around the country will participate by holding their own Awareness Day events, focusing either on the national theme, or adapting the theme to the populations they serve. On Awareness Day 2010, more than 1,000 sites held Awareness Day events and nearly 11,000 children and youth participated.

Calls To Action for Awareness Day 2011 National Event

  • Integrate mental health and model resilience skills in every environment that has an impact on child development from birth.
  • Enhance resilience and nurture social and emotional skills in young children from birth.
  • Provide information to the public and teach them to recognize the signs of traumatic stress.
  • Raise awareness that treatment for trauma is critical to achieving the milestones of a child's social and emotional development from birth.
  • Promote trauma-informed services and supports in all child-serving settings.

The national event in Washington, DC, will open with an art exhibit sponsored by the American Art Therapy Association at the prestigious Shakespeare Theatre-Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, DC, (http://www.shakespearetheatre.org) and continue with a tribute to youth who dealt with trauma in their childhood and who built on their resilience. A joint award from the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts will be presented to a celebrity who experienced trauma, who demonstrated resilience, and who used his or her fame as a platform to educate others about trauma and resilience.

Learn about the Benefits of Collaborating on Awareness Day Year-Round.