Awareness Day began in 2005 as a grassroots effort among SAMHSA-funded system of care communities.
Since its inception, it has served as SAMHSA's key strategy to:
- raise awareness of the efficacy of community-based mental health services for children, youth, and their families;
- demonstrate how children's mental health initiatives promote positive youth development, recovery, and resilience; and
- show how children and youth with mental health needs thrive in their communities.
As a result of Awareness Day collaborations, the system of care communities have reported development of new and strengthening of existing collaborations leading to greater opportunities for long-term sustainability. The chart below illustrates an increase in the number of Federal partners and collaborating organizations since 2005.
Text description of this chart is available on a separate page.
The national focus for Awareness Day 2011 was building resilience in young children dealing with trauma. Awareness Day 2011 calls to action were to:
- integrate mental health and model resilience skills in every environment that has an impact on child development from birth;
- enhance resilience and nurture social and emotional skills in young children from birth;
- provide information to the public and teach them to recognize the signs of traumatic stress;
- raise awareness that treatment for trauma is critical to achieving the milestones of a child’s social and emotional development from birth; and
- promote trauma-informed services and supports in all child-serving settings.