Recognize National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

05/05/2009

Albany, NY May 4, 2009 – On Thursday, May 7, 2009, communities across the country will celebrate National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day by wearing green ribbons as a symbol to help raise public awareness of children’s mental health needs.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has estimated that nearly 1 in 4 children, ages 9 to 17 have a diagnosable mental health or addictive challenge.  Unfortunately, 79% of these children do not receive mental health care.

The lack of public awareness around mental health care can have alarming consequences.  If left untreated, children with mental health concerns may self medicate or may try to harm themselves. Suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst teenagers in New York State.  Sadly, attempted suicides among our children take place everyday.  It is estimated that for every completed suicide there are approximately 25 attempted suicides.  Since November, we have lost four high school-aged children to suicide in Schenectady and countless others across our state and nation.

“National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 7th provides an important opportunity for our community to show how children and youth with mental health needs, as well as their families thrive when they have the right supports and services available,” said Brooke Schewe, Director of Families Together in Albany County.

“Families Together in Albany County along with other programs and initiatives are changing families’ lives and improving outcomes all over the country and right here in Albany County.   By addressing diagnoses such as depression and bipolar with dignity and respect we are helping children to avoid self harm.”

On Thursday, May 7, 2009, communities across the country will celebrate National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day by wearing green ribbons as a symbol to help raise public awareness of children’s mental health needs.

Back in the 1800’s, the color green was used to brand people who were labeled “insane.”  Today, the color green signifies new life, new growth and new beginnings.  The green ribbon brings awareness to the needs of the families of children and youth with social, emotional and behavioral challenges across the nation. 

Brooke Schewe is the Director of Families Together in Albany County.  Families Together in Albany County is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Albany County Department for Children, Youth and Families.  Since the initiative’s establishment in October, 2005, Families Together in Albany County has helped transform the way in which treatment and care are provided to children with mental health needs.  For more information, please call 518.432.0333.



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