Families Together Gains National Recognition for Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach


aLBANY, nEW yORK—Families Together in Albany County was nationally recognized for achievement in communications at the 2008 Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach (ECCO) Recognition Program, which took place on July 18 in Nashville. The ECCO Recognition Program highlights communications achievements that promote children’s mental health.

Families Together in Albany County’s entry, Stigmasaurus, A Coloring Book About Feelings, illustrates that stigma can encourage prejudice and discrimination and can ultimately impact how children view themselves.  Using feelings such as mad, sad, happy, etc. makes mental health concerns more identifiable and understandable for children and their parents.

The ECCO Recognition Program is sponsored by the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services Program for Children and Their Families of the Federal Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It celebrates the talents, strengths, and successes of communities that are part of a CMHS program to build community-based “systems of care” for children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families.

ECCOs were given in the following categories: Media Outreach; Community Outreach: Parents & Caregivers; Community Outreach: Children & Youth; Professional Outreach; Partnership Development; Communications Planning; Internal Communications; and local efforts conducted as part of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

Families Together in Albany County competed with 60 entries submitted by mental health professionals and child advocates from across the country. All entries were peer-judged, and the criteria included consideration of planning, cultural competence/family involvement, message, execution, presentation, creativity, audience, effectiveness, and evaluation.

2010 Families Together in the Capital Region
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