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Opportunities to Engage your Community in the Trauma-themed May 10th Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day


Trauma is the theme of the 2018 SAMHSA-sponsored (U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 10th(7-9:00 pm ET).  The virtual town hall, “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma,” will focus on taking an integrated health approach to support children, youth, and young adults who have experienced trauma.  The goal of Awareness Days in general is “to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and to show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth.”

The Washington, DC event will be live streamed via NBC4 and sister stations and Telemundo stations and open for questions and comments from those attending in person as well as from the national virtual audience.  Individuals and groups (e.g., small and large organizations and communities) are encouraged to participate.

To facilitate that participation, SAMHSA has developed a practical 8-age toolkit (attached) to help interested parties organize their own events (e.g., simultaneous forums, house parties, etc.) or simply engage on an individual level. Virtual participants will have the opportunity to submit questions via email or social media (use the hashtag #HeroesofHope) to a panel that mental health and primary care experts, as well as family and youth leaders.  These leaders will “share evidence-based strategies that are effective in improving the lives of children, youth, and young adults who have experienced trauma,” according to a SAMHSA communication (see the ACEs Connection calendar event for May 10).

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II will present governors’ spouses with a SAMHSA Special Recognition Award for their work in promoting trauma-informed care. First Lady of Wisconsin Tonette Walker will accept the award on behalf of the governors’ spouses.  In addition to Mrs. Walker, other Governors’ spouses will be recognized from the states of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.  

The Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians, Ms. Jackie Pata, also will serve as an honorary chairperson and will receive a SAMHSA Special Recognition Award for the organization’s work in supporting trauma-informed care at the state and tribal level. Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Elinore McCance-Katz, also will be participating in the town hall.

The webcast will be available after the May 10 event to individuals or for on-demand viewing as part of community events that don’t coincide with the May 10thtown hall.


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