National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) seeks 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.
Awareness Day 2017’s national focus is on the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth, and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders. The 2017 national theme is “Partnering for Help and Hope.” Communities, national collaborating organizations, and federal programs across the country are busy planning local Awareness Day 2017 activities and events.
Olympic champions Michael Phelps, the world’s most decorated Olympian, and Allison Schmitt, an
Phelps and Schmitt will receive SAMHSA’s Special Recognition Award for speaking openly about their behavioral health challenges and encouraging youth to lead healthy and active lives.
“Children and young adults often look to athletes as role models for leading healthy lives. By speaking about treatment and recovery, Michael and Allison are helping youth view behavioral health as an important part of their overall health,” said Kana Enomoto, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary.
“Allison and I are excited to be a part of this national effort. As we travel all over the country, we’re often asked about our training, diets, and routines for staying fit,” said Michael Phelps. “Being involved in Awareness Day and with SAMHSA gives us the chance to emphasize that paying attention to mental health is another important component of growing up healthy.”
The event will feature interactive panel discussions about understanding the connection between physical and behavioral health; improving communication between primary care providers, behavioral health providers, and youth and families; and supporting the mental health needs of youth who experience chronic illness.
Read more about Awareness Day on SAMHSA.gov.