National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, an annual event hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. PAR has always been a strong advocate for children’s mental health, and we are delighted to announce our participation as a “Champion Level” co-sponsor of this year’s program.
On May 9, PAR will be joining SAMHSA for a special evening program at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC. This program will be a tribute to honor children and youth who have demonstrated resilience after traumatic experiences, as well as their “Heroes of Hope,” people in their lives who have helped and inspired them along the way. The American Art Therapy Association has put together a unique exhibit featuring artwork from students all across the country, which will be displayed during the event. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will present a Special Recognition Award to artist, advocate, and Awareness Day Honorary Chairperson Cyndi Lauper, whose work with her True Colors Fund and the True Colors Residence exemplifies the “Hero of Hope” spirit. Live performances by youth from around the country will also honor the young people and their heroes.
Here at PAR, we understand the importance of children’s mental health, and we are proud to partner with organizations like SAMHSA to promote awareness of this vital issue.
Locally, members of the PAR staff will honor the national event by attending the Success 4 Kids & Families “Breakfast of Champions” event on May 10 in Tampa.
Mental health assessment is central to PAR’s mission, and we use the latest research to create assessment instruments that help our customers serve their clients. Trauma in Children and Adolescents is a free, downloadable resource from PAR that provides an overview of the topic, with definitions and statistics as well as critical information about the signs and symptoms of childhood trauma, resources to aid in the recovery process, and the role of assessments.
The Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids 2012 campaign encourages mental health professionals to go out into the community to give free talks to parents and educators about a range of children’s mental health topics. The Child Mind Institute (also a Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day “Champion Level” co-sponsor) provides all the materials to help with the talks, including PowerPoint presentations, handouts, flyer templates, and more. The Speak Up campaign has also developed some short, engaging Public Service videos about childhood depression, ADHD, OCD, and more. To view or share these videos, visit Why Speak Up? on the Child Mind Institute Web site.
Since its inception more than 30 years ago, PAR has been giving back to our community in the form of volunteer time and financial support. Children and wellness have always been priorities, and through the years we have supported organizations that help families including the United Way, A Brighter Community, the PACE Center for Girls, the Children’s Home of Tampa, and many others. To learn more about PAR’s community service work, please visit our Community PARtners page.