Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day - May 3rd

It is estimated that 26 percent of children in the United States will experience or witness a traumatic event before the age of 4. Traumatic events can include physical and sexual abuse, domestic or community violence, natural disasters and economic hardships within families. The good news is that with help from families, providers and communities, young children can demonstrate tremendous resilience.

The sixth annual National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is being held on May 3, 2011. Awareness Day is part of an effort from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 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.

SAMHSA has created and provided links to early childhood and trauma resources on its website to help parents, health care providers, teachers, and other caregivers promote resilience and positive mental health beginning at birth. These resources include tips for building resilience in children and youth dealing with trauma, an activity coloring book about feelings, and a list of early childhood and trauma resources list developed with the Awareness Day collaborating organizations.

At the national event in Washington, DC, on May 3, Golden Globe Award-winning actress and bestselling children’s book author Jamie Lee Curtis will join SAMHSA as the honorary national spokesperson to celebrate the sixth annual Awareness Day. This year’s national event, “Building Resilience in Young Children Dealing with Trauma,” pays tribute to children who experienced trauma very early in life, but later recovered and are now thriving. The event will feature true stories of trauma and resilience from young people across the country, as well as live performances from Arcadian Broad from “America’s Got Talent” and students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC. You can watch the powerful true stories and special tribute performances via live webcast online at 7 p.m. EDT. To learn more, visit www.samhsa.gov/children.



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