May brings with it an opportunity to join in on a national dialogue about the importance of the mental health of our youth. Each year we work to raise awareness while ending prejudice and discrimination. The last year was fraught with threats to our mental health for many reasons.
All of these threats have culminated to force us all into discussions about mental health. Let’s take this opportunity to change the way we face mental health. Children have lost contact with peers, social connection, and the ability to spend time with extended family. Their routines have been disrupted and rites of passage have been missed. Many have lost those they love to illness.
Together, we can focus our attention on their well-being during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (CMHAW). This is our chance to influence hearts, minds, and attitudes about mental health. This year’s theme is “Flip the Script on Mental Health”.
Health professionals are uniquely positioned to address the mental health needs of our youth. Collectively parents, teachers, physicians, and other adults can impart wisdom and courage, helping our children take care of their mental health and consider how they treat those with mental health challenges.
What is Children’s Mental Health Awareness?
Every year, National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day works to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health. This year, that day is May 7th, with awareness activities filling the entire week of May 2nd-8th. This year we will use resources to rewrite the script concerning mental health.
To help the children in your life:
- Be available for them
- Practice self-care to provide an example for them
- Choose your battles when it comes to schoolwork
- Pay attention to signs that they may be struggling. While it is okay for them to work through a range of emotions, extended periods of sadness may signal the need to provide additional support.
How Can You Participate
Our focus for CMHAW this year is to educate the community about the importance of teaching children and youth:
- That caring for their mental health is a vital part of living a fulfilling life.
- That experiencing mental health challenges is not uncommon and it is important to ask for help.
- To offer acceptance, support, and respect for others with mental health challenges.
Save the date, join the conversation, and head to the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week website for resources to contribute. There you will find social media images, frames, event marketing tools, get event flyers, and more. While you are there, get the Awareness Week Tool Kit and activities that families can participate in. Even while social distancing, you can help by simply promoting the hashtag by tagging your social media posts with the hashtag’s #awarenessweek #CMHAW2021 or #childrensmentalhealthmatters
Bedsiide, the healthcare concierge services company, supports CMHAW and hopes that you and your organization will too. Join in on the free virtual events happening all week, May 2nd-8th. To learn more, visit https://www.ffcmh.org/awarenessweek.