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National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 1 – 7

This week is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week with the theme “Healthy Families, Resilient Children: Mental Health is a Family Affair!”

The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health calls attention to the critical need for mental health care reform in this country, and for increased education about the importance of prevention and early identification of mental health challenges:

“As a nation, we are vigilant about ensuring that our citizens know basic first aid techniques, understand the importance of smoke detectors, and can recite the techniques of “stop, drop and roll” but we fail to educate ourselves about the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

We must also highlight the fact that children are an integral part of a family unit and create an understanding amongst policy leaders and practitioners that healthy families are better equipped to support resilient children. Legislation, policies, and practices must fully endorse the undisputed importance of full family engagement and participation in the care and treatment of their children. Further, we must advocate for a holistic approach to children’s mental health that includes the provision of supports that strengthen the family as they nurture resiliency.”