May is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month and Thursday, May 4, 2017 was National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. This year’s national theme is “Partnering for Help & Hope.”
ACMH kicked off our month long celebration in the Capital Rotunda alongside many of our ‘partners in help and hope’ including Michigan youth and families, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, MDHHS Director Nick Lyon, legislators, policymakers, and other honored guests. This year’s Michigan’s theme was:
May the 4th Be with You!
Celebrating Youth/Family Strength and Voice, Raising Awareness,
Reducing Stigma and Building Partnerships
The May the 4th Be With You Michigan celebration was a great success! We want to thank all of our speakers including Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, Livingston County Community Mental Health Executive Director Connie Conklin and especially the parent and youth who joined us to share their wealth of knowledge and experience and whose passionate words helped us to demonstrate why children’s mental health matters!
Lieutenant Governor Calley also shared a Proclamation designating May as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month in Michigan! And we wrapped up the event by wielding green light sabers to demonstrate that if we all Join Forces -we can come closer to reaching our vision:
That ALL Michigan children and youth with mental health challenges and their families live in safe, welcoming communities with access to needed services and supports!
The evidence is out there and the message is still clear…
Children’s mental health challenges are real, treatable and as important as physical health to the overall health and well-being of our children, youth, families and communities!
Children’s Mental Health Facts:
- Of the over 2.5 million children in Michigan it is estimated that 1 in 5 experience some mental health challenges and more than 285,000 children have a serious emotional disturbance that significantly impairs their ability to be successful in their home school or community. Even though so many children & youth are affected; An estimated 75% of them will not receive the treatment they need!
- One-third of adolescents show symptoms of depression and 21% of youth aged 13-18 live with challenges that significantly impair their day-to-day lives.
- Over 50% of students aged 14 or older with severe mental health challenges drop out of high school. The highest dropout rate of any disability group.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 12-18 and 10-24 year olds.
Awareness day is a great opportunity for us to join forces and share the message that:
- Mental health is just as important to positive development as physical health;
- Mental health challenges in children and youth are real and treatable. With access to comprehensive, trauma-informed, coordinated services and supports that are family driven, youth guided and that address the unique culture of children and their families, children & youth are happier, healthier & have improved outcomes.
- Children live in families so improving children’s mental health, well-being and resilience relies on involving and engaging youth and their families!
The May 4th celebration was an opportunity to gather together and renew our commitment to building and supporting a system of services and supports that address children’s mental health and well-being. Thanks to all who were a part of it!
Keep an eye out on our events section throughout the month of May for more information about state and national Children’s Mental Health Awareness events and activities!