Montgomery, Ala. – Each year in May, the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) recognizes Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 2nd – 8th) as an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health. This year’s theme “Flipping the Script on Mental Health,” aims to put an end to prejudice and discrimination by changing hearts, minds, and attitudes regarding mental health.
Many individuals and families have been impacted by the current pandemic, which has been particularly distressing for children and youth and even more so for those previously experiencing mental health challenges. Throughout the last year, they have experienced school closures, the loss of peer interaction, social connection and time spent in-person with extended family, educators, therapists, and other community members. Many have missed important rites of passages or had to grieve the loss of loved ones or friends.
This week, and every day of the year, ADMH remains committed to inform and educate families and communities on the importance of accessing important mental health resources. Mental health stigma often discourages parents and children from seeking appropriate treatment. Children and youth with mental illnesses and their families deserve access to services and supports that are family-driven, youth-guided, and culturally appropriate.
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to change hearts, minds, and attitudes regarding mental health. We invite you to join with other communities around the state to continue the conversation about mental health and encourage positive attitudes and perceptions which are essential to a child’s healthy development.
In 2020, the Alabama Department of Mental Health served over 32,000 children with mental health prevention and treatment services. The Office of Mental Illness Community Programs and Children and Adolescent Services manages many important programs that assist children in our state, such as but not limited to, the School-Based Mental Health Collaborative and the First Episode Psychosis.
To learn more about children’s mental health and providers who offer services, including screenings, referrals, and treatment, visit https://mh.alabama.gov/children-and-adolescent-services/.