National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is celebrated each year during May and is sponsored by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration). The purpose of this day is to raise everyone's awareness about the importance of positive mental health for overall health and daily functioning. As a team, do something to raise awareness of children's mental health. Visit SAMSHA's website to find out how to launch this event (http://www.samhsa.gov/children/national-events).
Don't wait until May! Begin planning for this event in the beginning of the school year!
Here's what one school did! Under the leadership of Brenda Allen, MS, OTR/L at Muskingum County Starlight School (Zanesville, Ohio), the school team began to learn about positive mental health and plan for a May Children's Mental Health Fair in the Fall. Ten elementary classrooms worked with high school representatives from a communications class to plan a display for the event. Each class committed to learning about and preparing materials and activities for one of the 10 Actions for Happiness (www.actionforhappiness.org). Here's what Brenda said about the event:
Preschoolers were involved in morning group mental health activities. School age students had an afternoon assembly and invited parents. Each school age class stood up and explained their display. At the end everyone got a certificate of appreciation for Mental Health Awareness. At the beginning and end of the assembly we said the pledge, "I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me."
Click here for a pdf file of their handouts.
Every Moment Counts POSTERS: Print, post and discuss content on our Be Kind to Your Mind and other posters. Click here to access and download the posters (http://www.everymomentcounts.org/view.php?nav_id=39)
Every Moment Counts BOOKMARKS: Print these out double-sided and give these to your students. Talk about the content on the bookmarks to help them learn about how to take care of their mental health. Click here to download the bookmarks.
Apps for Mental Health Promotion: Click here for a handout on iPad and iPhone Apps for mental health promotion.
Books to read: Click here for a list of books to read about mental health promotion.
Other Website Resources and Free Posters