National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) is a key strategy of the Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign, which is part of the Public Awareness and Support Strategic Initiative by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The effort seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health and that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth.
In 2012, the national theme focused on caring adults and informed child-serving systems that help young people demonstrate resilience following traumatic experiences. More than 130 national organizations and 1,100 communities across the country held their own Awareness Day events, focusing either on the national theme or adapting the theme to the populations they serve.
This year, National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day will take place on Thursday, May 9. SAMHSA hopes to increase community involvement in 2013 by engaging local groups in a national conversation about the importance of children's social and emotional well-being. Local groups are also encouraged to offer individuals attending Awareness Day events an opportunity to become a "hero of hope" by making a pledge to take action to help a child or youth.