Tomorrow is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. In observance of the federal sponsored awareness day, more than 1,100 communities and 115 federal programs and national organizations across the country have planned events, youth demonstrations, and social networking campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health. National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is a key element of the Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign, which is part of the Public Awareness and Support Strategic Initiative by SAMHSA through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
One of the more prominent national events scheduled is the Heroes of Hope tribute to be hosted by SAMSHA. The evening program is scheduled to take place on the George Washington University campus in Washington, D.C. at Lisner Auditorium from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The event is hosted by local news anchor Leon Harris and the tribute program highlights children and youth who have demonstrated resilience after traumatic experiences, as well as this year’s Heroes of Hope honorees. The event features live performances by youth from around the country. A Special Recognition Award is presented by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to artist, advocate, and Awareness Day National Event Honorary Chairperson Cyndi Lauper whose work with her True Colors Fund and the True Colors Residence exemplifies the Hero of Hope spirit. The “Heroes of Hope” event is preceded by a reception hosted by the Child Mind Institute. The reception includes an art exhibit sponsored by the American Art Therapy Association that features art from schools throughout the country.
Those living in or near the Washington, D.C. metro area who are interested in attending the national art exhibit and program should visit www.awarenessevent.org for more information about the event and to RSVP. Individuals who do not live near the DC metro area or cannot attend are welcome to watch a live webcast on www.samhsa.gov/children from 7:30–9:30 p.m. (EDT) on May 9, 2012.
A listing of community events by state for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is available at www.samhsa.gov/children/communityevents_2012.asp. Awareness Day resources and materials are also available at www.samhsa.gov/children/materials.asp.