Awareness Day 2016 Activities

Read about activities that communities across the country hosted in honor of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2016!

Every year, communities create new and inspiring ways to observe Awareness Day. More than 1,100 events are held every year in honor of Awareness Day.

Here is a sample of how communities came together to explore improving access to behavioral health services and supports for children, youth, and young adults with mental and substance use disorders and their families.

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Pascua Yaqui Tribe-Sewa Uusim Community Partnership, Tucson
The Pascua Yaqui Tribe-Sewa Uusim Community Partnership launched its second annual “Show You Care, Be Aware!” campaign in collaboration with more than 10 tribal departments. The campaign brought awareness to both Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, as well as to National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month in May. The site also hosted an intergenerational quilt making event.


Humboldt County Children and Family Services, Eureka
Humboldt County Children and Family Services partnered with Humboldt County Transition-Age Youth Collaboration and Access Humboldt to present a “Directing Change” film screening. The screening showcased short films that local young adults created to change the conversation about suicide prevention and mental health in their schools and communities. Before the screening of each short film, its creator shared their personal experiences with mental issues and misperceptions about these issues. The event featured United Indian Health Services Teen Advisory Group, a performance by the Spare Change Theatre Troupe, and the winners of a poster contest called “Reframe Your Brain.” The Foster Youth Museum’s “Tribute: Stories of Foster Youth Tattoos” exhibition also was on display and featured several Humboldt County youth. Finally, individuals from Humboldt County Children and Family Services viewed SAMHSA’s live Awareness Day event and participated in the online discussion.

Project ABC, Los Angeles
Project ABC Los Angeles held a free community carnival for young children and their families. At the carnival, children worked with adults to build and play games out of recycled materials. They also developed and promoted a public service announcement.

Yurok Social Services, Klamath
In Klamath, the Youth Social Service Department celebrated Awareness Day with a mural-making project at their Weitchpec Tribal office. By painting on paper tiles, participants expressed their interpretations of “Finding Help. Finding Hope.” They constructed the mural using these tiles and displayed it throughout the community. In addition to the mural event, the Youth Social Service Department distributed hundreds of Awareness Day stickers to the community through their three tribal offices.


Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Denver
The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health, hosted its first-ever Colorado Wraparound Symposium, drawing 100 attendees. Wraparound facilitators, family advocates, supervisors, and system partners spent two days enhancing wraparound skills and building wraparound infrastructure in the state. Participants also used SAMHSA’s live webcast of the national event as part of their Awareness Day activities.


CONNECT (Connecticut Network of Care Transformation), Rocky Hill
CONNECT hosted a dinner where attendees watched the live viewing of the national event. The community also sponsored several outreach tables at events across the state. Each table featured information, a poster for people to sign, and mental health statistics. CONNECT also organized a flash mob.


Jacksonville SOC, Jacksonville
The Jacksonville SOC highlighted mental health in their newsletter, community presentations, an essay contest, and an event to honor professionals that serve families living with mental health issues.

Federation of Families Miami–Dade Chapter, Miami
The Federation of Families Miami–Dade Chapter/Beyond Empowerment Expansion held a community resource fair where partner organizations provided information to families and youth on behavioral health and conducted free health screenings. In addition, the organization held a viewing of the Awareness Day national event, which they promoted through their e-bulletin.

One Community Partnership 2, Fort Lauderdale
One Community Partnership 2 held a large Wellness Day event at a central county park. The organization promoted the event via radio and television PSAs, created with support from the local United Way chapter. More than 200 attendees joined, including a local commissioner.

Orange County Government Wraparound Orange, Orlando
Wraparound Orange hosted its sixth annual “Healthy Minds Healthy Lives” family fun day. The multicultural, multilingual, educational event celebrated children’s mental health with families and community groups. The event also raised awareness of community-based services for youth and families and helped reduce misperceptions around mental and substance use disorders. In addition, Wraparound Orange participated in radio interviews about the event, further raising awareness of children’s mental health. In total, more than 1,200 families attended “Healthy Minds Healthy Lives.”


Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Atlanta
The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities collaborated on a 5K run, a training, an open house, a family fun day, a presentation at the Georgia State Capitol, a panel discussion, a youth performance, social media outreach, and a children’s art exhibit on “Finding Help. Finding Hope.”


Madison School District–Madison Cares, Rexburg
Madison Cares worked with partners to host their third annual health and wellness fair and women’s health conference during the week leading up to Awareness Day. On the first day, more than 70 exhibitors distributed local health and wellness information and resources to attendees. On the second, a local professional spoke to women on health and wellness issues they face, including mental health issues. In total, more than 2,300 people attended both days. On Awareness Day, they hosted an open house to reintroduce themselves and their services to the community. Madison Cares took advantage of the fact that Awareness Day occurred on Cinco de Mayo by having their la Tradiciones youth group perform traditional Mexican dances at the open house. Madison Cares also viewed the national event, participated in the online discussion, and has since used the national event webcast in its work.


American Academy of Pediatrics, Grove Village
The American Academy of Pediatrics in Grove Village promoted the national event through social media.


Mental Health America of Indiana/Youth MOVE Indiana, Indianapolis
Mental Health America of Indiana/Youth M.O.V.E. Indiana celebrated Awareness Day by conducting a social media campaign throughout May. The campaign was created to reduce stigma and promote conversation around mental health issues. They also participated in the Youth M.O.V.E. National “#MOVEitForward” event on Twitter.


Youth M.O.V.E. National, Decorah
Youth M.O.V.E. National provided its chapter network leaders tools to host community focus groups on the issues they face when accessing services. They also hosted two virtual events, including a national convening of youth from its chapter network for a larger scale of the community focus groups and a day of engagement via social media to raise awareness. In addition, Youth M.O.V.E. National promoted SAMHSA’s national event through social media and other digital communications.


Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA), Ellicott City
FREDLA developed a video using pictures submitted by more than 30 family-run organizations. To obtain the photos, FREDLA sent each organization a package with blue and yellow balloons imprinted with the phrase “Family-Run Organizations SOAR” and inviting them to use the balloon in a staff photo. They also promoted the submissions using social media. FREDLA also sent a link to the national event webcast to more than 200 family leaders.

Maryland Coalition of Families, Columbia
Maryland Coalition of Families collaborated with the Mental Health Association of Maryland to host the Children’s Mental Health Matters! Campaign. The campaign distributed materials and resources to more than 350 partners across the state to use during their local events and activities. The campaign also featured a dedicated website, engagement through social media, an art event, two youth panels, a statewide proclamation, and two flash mobs. Maryland’s first lady served as the campaign’s honorary chair.

Maryland Family Network/BRIDGE, Baltimore
The Maryland Family Network/BRIDGE celebrated Awareness Day by sharing information through social media.

Mental Health Association of Maryland and Maryland Coalition of Families–Children’s Mental Health Matters! Campaign, Timonium Mental Health Association of Maryland and Maryland Coalition of Families collaborated to host the weeklong Children’s Mental Health Matters! Campaign. Nearly 270 schools joined the campaign with support from Baltimore City and Prince George’s County, and more than 90 organizations, agencies, and interested community groups signed on as campaign partners. Campaign highlights included unveiling a 2016 campaign poster and formally recognizing the artist; updating and distributing an educator resource kit that included fact sheets on relevant mental health topics; having Maryland’s governor issue a proclamation and Maryland’s first lady agree to be the campaign’s honorary chair; partnering with the Department of Disabilities to collaborate on an event called “Celebrating Through Art: The First Lady’s Mental Health Awareness Youth Art Display,” which included an anti-discrimination presentation; organizing panel discussions at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the University of Maryland, College Park; hosting two webinars in partnership with Mental Health First Aid Maryland and MD-Spin; and distributing more than 12,000 wristbands, 5,000 pencils, 1,400 posters, 1,000 resiliency calendars, and hundreds of other awareness items. In addition, the Maryland Early Intervention Program hosted a flash mob at UMBC and Prince George’s County School Psychologists’ Association and Nonprofit Prince George’s County sponsored a flash mob at The Shoppes at the Arts District in Hyattsville.

Prince George’s County Health Department, Largo
The Prince George’s County Health Department promoted Awareness Day and mental health via social media, created and distributed a graphic card, and developed a fact sheet and distributed it online. They also worked with an established coalition of nonprofit organizations and individuals on numerous promotional activities, such as proclamations from local officials, a flash mob, and the development of bookmarks created by children.

RESPOND-Anne Arundel County, Annapolis
Through RESPOND-Anne Arundel County, the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency and its partners wore green for Awareness Day, distributed green handmade ribbons, and added a “children’s mental health matters” logo and link to their email signatures. One partner, the Center for Children, attended the Awareness Day national event. RESPOND-Anne Arundel County also participated in Maryland’s Mental Health Awareness week by holding information booths at three local libraries, advertising the Mental Health Matters campaign, and handing out mental health resources. The community also distributed information on the benefits of the RESPOND grant to their local board of education. They also plan to use the on-demand webcast of SAMHSA’s national Awareness Day event by providing a link on their website and referencing it in future Awareness Day activities.


Boston Public Health Commission SOC Grant, Boston
In partnership with its Wellness at Work Committee, the Boston Public Health Commission hosted a brown bag luncheon for all staff, as well as an employee contest for the best playspace in the workplace. Staff were invited to participate by changing their workspace into a play area to encourage adults to find their inner child and to highlight the importance of play for both children and adults. Contest winners were chosen based on the creativity, interactivity, and sensory engagement of the playspace. Staff were invited to learn more about the importance of play by viewing the system of care’s newly released YouTube video.

HCS Head Start, Inc., Springfield
Holyoke Chicopee Springfield (HCS) Head Start, Inc., hosted a “Yoga on the Green” event, where they held an interactive yoga session. At the event, they had a resource table and information on how to continue the yoga group in classrooms after Awareness Day.

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health/Success for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Grant, Boston
The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Statewide Young Adult Council, Success for Transition Age Youth (STAY) Together Grant teamed up with Speaking of Hope to host a “Burst the Stigma” campaign that included using green water balloons as a way to symbolize bursting misperceptions of mental and substance use disorders. To promote this and other activities, these organizations used social media and encouraged followers to share their own experiences of bursting, overcoming, or educating others to eliminate negative attitudes toward behavioral health issues.

Screening for Mental Health, Wellesley
Screening for Mental Health hosted a community forum where both adults and young people discussed access to mental health care in Massachusetts. In addition, the organization reached out to school partners with a toolkit on how to participate in Awareness Day, as well as how to watch the national event. Finally, Screening for Mental Health hosted a separate viewing of SAMHSA’s national event webcast.


American Indian Health and Family Services, Detroit
Thee American Indian Health and Family Services in Detroit celebrated Awareness Day with activities, games, and resource tables. They also viewed the webcast of the national event and participated in the online discussion.

Community Family Partnership (network180), Grand Rapids
Community Family Partnership sent its local parent advocacy council to the state capitol to present the state senate with mental health awareness materials, including information about SAMHSA’s Awareness Day. They also promoted the event to their local partners, viewed it online, and participated in the online discussion.

Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, Detroit
The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority celebrated Awareness Day with a rally on May 5 at Renaissance High School. The rally included an open-mic artistic expression with local hip-hop artist Nique LoveRhodes, mental health resource tables, a photo booth, and a keynote presentation that highlighted the journey of a young adult living with severe mental illness. State Representative Brian Banks and Office Legislative Assistant Ron Kelly presented a proclamation highlighting the observance and importance of Awareness Day in Detroit. More than 100 people attended the rally, including youth and families. After the event, the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority distributed the link to view SAMHSA’s national event webcast throughout Wayne County to community partners, provider agencies, and community stakeholders.

Saginaw MAX System of Care, Saginaw
The Saginaw MAX System of Care held a viewing party and participated in SAMHSA’s national Awareness Day event. And in the weekend following Awareness Day, they held an awareness event in conjunction with a local youth conference, where partners hosted booths with crafts and activities for youth and families.

Kalamazoo Wraps, Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo Wraps held its 11th annual Kalamazoo Wraps Children’s Mental Health Awareness Carnival on May 5 at the Kalamazoo Expo Center. The event drew more than 3,500 people and involved more than 270 staff, volunteers, community partners, vendors, entertainers, mascots, and exhibitors. Attendees learned about available services and resources for youth and families. Kalamazoo Wraps also plans on using SAMHSA’s nation event webcast in an upcoming campaign focused on misperceptions surrounding behavioral health issues.


Families as Allies/BUDS, Jackson
In Jackson, Mississippi, Families as Allies/BUDS observed Awareness Day with a community festival involving nonprofits and grassroots organizations. The festival provided mental health information as well as activities for children.

Nfusion XP Neshoba Group 1
Nfusion XP Neshoba Group 1 had a keynote speaker present to children in their program, the local Boys and Girls Club, and a local youth coalition group. The speaker informed youth of their rights within the school system and educated parents on obtaining appropriate assistance. Next year, Nfusion XP Neshoba Group 1 plans to use this year’s SAMHSA webcast of the national event as part of their Awareness Day promotion activities.

NFusion IV XP, Southaven
NFusion IV XP, partnering with the Hope Center in DeSoto County, held a basketball tournament for youth and families. The tournament also featured behavioral health information such as Mississippi-specific mental health facts, information on misperceptions of behavioral issues, and ways to reduce these misperceptions. NFusion IV XP also held a mental health information booth at a local craft fair. Throughout May, representatives from NFusion IV XP also spoke with library patrons about mental health.

NFusion X, Meridian
NFusion X had an expert speak to youth on substance misuse issues.

NFusion Xpand, Newton
NFusion Xpand Newton held an informational event at a local city hall, where speakers discussed the importance of children’s mental health. Community members, partners, staff, youth, and families attended. The community plans to use SAMHSA’s national event webcast in future activities.

CAN SOC of the Golden Triangle, West Point
CAN SOC of the Golden Triangle in West Point provided materials to 250 youth who attend alternative schools across seven counties. In addition to providing materials to youth, the organization also gave baskets of materials to 20 schools to raise awareness of child and youth mental health among school administrators and staff. The community also viewed SAMHSA’s national event webcast.

Project XPand, Jackson
In Jackson, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health partnered with Mississippi Children’s Home Services to sponsor a children’s mental health summit for more than 250 professionals working with children. The summit covered strategies to support children through trauma and teach them resilience. Participants had the opportunity to learn from evidence-based practices and real-world solutions to help Mississippi’s children, youth, and families flourish. In addition, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health sponsored a wellness walk to emphasize the relationship between mental and physical health and demonstrate that overall wellness is essential to mental wellness. The community also plans to incorporate SAMHSA’s national event webcast in trainings with their local governance council.


Santee Sioux Nation Society of Care, Lincoln
The Santee Sioux Nation Society of Care held activities occurring throughout the state, including public education activities involving pinwheels, flyers, signs, and pamphlets; lacrosse demonstrations highlighting wellness and culture; a presentation on traditional healing; a sweat lodge for local youth; an informational scavenger hunt for youth with a presentation on historical trauma by a Native American mental health provider; educational and recreational activities involving a school psychologist and counselor; educational activities in coordination with community domestic violence programming; a carnival with educational activities; youth leadership opportunities coordinated by a Native American intern/student; and posting the webcast of the Awareness Day national event on their YouTube channel and using parts of the webcast in presentations.


DCFS Nevada/System of Care, Las Vegas
The State of Nevada Division of Child and Family Services worked with community partners on events including distributing and wearing green lapel ribbons; promoting the national event; hosting art activities; giving a community presentation on children’s mental health; holding a poster contest; and taking pictures with signs to promote children’s mental health awareness that can be posted online. In addition, the First Lady of Nevada, in cooperation with the Children’s Cabinet, hosted a summit on children’s mental health on May 5.

New Hampshire

Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative, Concord
The Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative in Concord held a family fun and wellness fair that had wellness information, games, crafts, music, dancing, a photo booth, face painting, snacks, and giveaways.

New Mexico

Mescalero System of Care, Mescalero
The Mescalero System of Care held a two-day blessing feast for their community to promote children’s mental health. The feast featured traditional and sacred dancers, as well as a medicine man to guide the event. The community also plans on using SAMHSA’s national event webcast in future activities.

New Mexico’s Communities of Care (SOC Expansion Grant), Santa Fe
New Mexico’s Communities of Care celebrated Awareness Day with a proclamation, Mental Health First Aid trainings, a webinar, an outreach campaign, and giveaway items.

New York

Chautauqua Tapestry, Mayville
Chautauqua Tapestry observed Awareness Day by holding a coloring contest for children and adults. Coloring pages for the contest were designed around the Awareness Day theme. They received more than 250 entries and winners were announced in a local newspaper.

The Jed Foundation, New York
The Jed Foundation covered the Awareness Day national event on social media.

North Carolina

In Durham, BECOMING celebrated Awareness Day throughout May with trainings, award breakfasts, a celebration with music and green snacks, school appearances by “Mental Health Man,” Mental Health First Aid (youth and adult versions), film screenings and discussions, promotion of SAMHSA’s national event, and social media and email outreach.

North Carolina Expansion Grant, Raleigh
The North Carolina Expansion Grant promoted activities throughout the state to other grant sites/organizations, received a gubernatorial proclamation, and held a statewide system of care conference with the North Carolina State Collaborative for Children. The grant also plans to use SAMHSA’s national event webcast to raise awareness for Awareness Day efforts throughout the year.


Children Matter! Montgomery County Ohio, Dayton
This system of care showed the Pixar movie “Inside Out” to bring to life mental health issues and foster a better understanding of feelings in our community. By opening the event up to the public, the organization had more than 100 individuals come to view the movie.

NAMI Ohio/ENGAGE, Columbus
NAMI Ohio/ENGAGE collaborated with partner agencies to hold a “We Are the Majority” youth rally and resiliency ring at the Ohio Statehouse, drawing a crowd of 1,800. Individuals in the organization also viewed the Awareness Day Live! event and participated in the online discussion.

Ohio MHAS/ENGAGE, Columbus
For the fifth consecutive year, Ohio MHAS/ENGAGE led more than 1,800 youth in a march to the statehouse, forming a resiliency ring while chanting “we are the majority.” Youth M.O.V.E. participants posted signs downtown showing mental health labels and discrimination as crushed bricks. Members of the organization also viewed the national event and participated in the online discussion. The community plans on using the on-demand webcast in future activities.

JOURNEY to Successful Living, Cincinnati
JOURNEY to Successful Living held community presentations; city and county proclamations; traditional and social media outreach; a “Fair on the Square” event; a green ribbon campaign; and a national event webcast viewing with providers, partners, youth, and families. They also created a crisis card for youth and young adults, which they distributed at the event.


Cherokee Nation Children’s Behavioral Health HERO Project, Tahlequah
The Cherokee Nation Children’s Behavioral Health HERO Project encouraged local schools to have their kindergarten students create artwork on emotional literacy and resiliency. Cherokee Nation displayed the completed artwork at its headquarters, as well as local libraries. The community displayed signage promoting the importance of children’s mental health at Cherokee Nation Hastings Hospital. They also hosted a free event for families that promoted positive mental health, and featured the distribution of HERO of Hope awards to an outstanding advocate, outstanding partner, and outstanding youth. Finally, the HERO Project displayed the webcast of SAMHSA’s national event in its clinic waiting room.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation/BHS, Sapulpa
Muscogee (Creek) Nation hosted a free screening of the movie “Inside Out.” At the event, they provided activities for families and children, such as a photo booth, face painting, and children’s yoga and mindfulness exercises.


Yellowhawk SOC, Pendleton
Yellowhawk Systems of Care hosted a community barbecue featuring information about systems of care and mental health, as well as a 3-legged race, egg toss, egg race, gunny sack race, face painting, tug-of-war, community art project, and a bike safety course. The event ended with dancing, hand drums, and a big drum.


BHARP/SOC, Bellefonte
The BHARP/SOC sponsored and participated in many Awareness Day activities with other local organizations. They also viewed the national event and participated in the online discussion.

PA SOC Partnership, PA Healthy Transitions Partnership and Youth M.O.V.E. PA, Harrisburg
The PA SOC Partnership, Healthy Transitions Partnership, and Youth M.O.V.E. PA held an event called “PA on the M.O.V.E.” that featured nearly 20 exhibitors, a young adult speaker from Minding Your Mind, a talent group, a training, and opening remarks from the Deputy Secretary. They also implemented a survey to find out which areas the general community could benefit from with the practice of education. The survey had 20 true/false questions and each person who completed it was eligible for a prize. Finally, they watched the national event online.

Philadelphia Integrated System of Care Expansion, Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health System of Care celebrated Awareness Day with a children’s art event and exhibit called “Finding Help; Finding Hope.” The event showcased the talents of children and youth in Philadelphia who experience mental and/or substance abuse challenges and/or live with intellectual disabilities. In addition to the art show, the system of care also held resource fairs at the Philadelphia Zoo and at a local playground. At both fairs, they distributed information on children’s mental health and local contacts for those seeking more information. Through these fairs, the organization made contact with approximately 400 members of the community. Individuals from the system of care also watched the live webcast of SAMHSA’s national event and participated in the online discussion.

South Dakota

SGU Tiwahe Glu Kini Pi, Mission
Sinte Gleska University Tiwahe Glu Kini Pi “Bringing the Family Back to Life” took four equine therapy horses dressed in traditional Lakota horse regalia to meet with the Rosebud Sioux tribal council. The organization also met briefly with the tribal council and invited them to rekindle two traditional practices with their relatives and constituents: 1) Return to addressing each other and children with Lakota relationship terms, and 2) Smudge themselves, their families, and homes with “Peji Hota” (sage) to bring balance, cleanse the air, and pray when they are feeling stressed, lonely, fearful, or depressed. Council members then were invited to meet with the “Sunkawakan Oyate” (horses), youth horse handlers, and staff. The group offered a prayer for good mental health and help for children and families. Attendees also sang a horse song to honor and thank the Sunkawakan Oyate for their healing gifts.

Rhode Island

Parent Support Network of Rhode Island, Warwick
The Parent Support Network of Rhode Island in Warwick hosted a family night event featuring mental health resource information, a free concert, games, and an opportunity to watch the SAMHSA webcast event.


Bexar CARES, San Antonio
Bexar CARES held a week of community events addressing suicide prevention and mental health wellness, ranging from a mental health summit training to a family mental health fair, a proclamation from the San Antonio City Council, activities hosted by local agencies and nonprofits, and a public viewing of the national event webcast. Bexar CARES also produced a PSA that played at four local movie theaters during May to support being a mental health hero. Bexar CARES also aided other organizations that wanted to host events to promote mental health awareness, reduce misperceptions around mental health, and prevent suicide. Bexar CARES viewed the national event and participated in the online discussion, and has since used the webcast in its clinics.

Rural Counties Initiative for Resiliency and Recovery, Plainview
Rural Counties Initiative for Resiliency and Recovery held multiple Awareness Day activities throughout April and May. The inititiave partnered with a local police department and participated in its “Cops and Kids” event in April, held a resource open house with karaoke at the Lamb County Family Resource Center, engaged youth in a mental health coloring activity with small prizes and snacks, participated in the Awareness Day Live! Twitter conversation, and promoted mental health awareness via social media.

Paving the Way, Fort Worth
Paving the Way celebrated Awareness Day by building on an existing awareness campaign and strengthening system of care collaborations. They also developed several pages on the Recognize Trauma website featuring each county’s collaboration logo. These logos also appeared on related posters, brochures, first-responder cards/bookmarks, and in movie theater ads throughout May. The organization also implemented a new Painting with Purpose Program for 15 youth.

Texas System of Care, Austin
In Austin, the Texas System of Care and several partners hosted a rally, a 1-mile walk, and a mental health resource fair to increase awareness and support for children’s mental health. Local and state partners, as well as the greater Austin community, supported these activities. The festivities, which drew 200 people, also included speeches, photographs with superheroes, and information booths. The system of care also viewed SAMHSA’s Awareness Day Live! national event.

The Children’s Partnership, Austin
The Children’s Partnership organized an activity night for families; sign painting; a kickoff event at the Texas State Capitol with speakers, a walk, an award announcement, and a resource fair; a collaboration with the Department of Social and Health Services on their annual Mental Health Awareness Creativity contest; a county resolution and a city proclamation; participation in a mental health trivia event; and distribution of green ribbons and mental health fact cards.


APA, Arlington
The American Psychiatric Association viewed the live event and participated in the online discussion.

American Art Therapy Association, Alexandria
The American Art Therapy Association, as an Awareness Day national collaborating organization, spread awareness of the observance via multiple communication platforms. The association also is planning a fundraiser for two of its chapters’ children’s art wellness events for the fall. In addition to viewing the live Awareness Day national event and participating in the online discussion, the organization promoted the webcast in its online newsletters.

Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Bringing Systems of Care to Scale in Virginia
The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services held a panel for young adults with behavioral health challenges. Each of the four young adults talked about how the system helped them, as well as their recommended improvements for the system.

National PTA, Alexandria
The National PTA in Alexandria promoted Awareness Day through social media and member communications.


Ist-otel (Lummi System of Care Expansion), Bellingham
Ist-otel (Pulling Together) Lummi System of Care Expansion conducted a wellness walk and an art activity culminating in a “picture wall.”

Lower Elwha Klallam Systems of Care, Port Angeles
Lower Elwha Klallam Systems of Care in Port Angeles celebrated Awareness Day with a community dinner and logo selection contest, therapeutic play activities, and presentations. They also had a member of their Tribal Council present a signed Lower Elwha Tribal Resolution naming May 5 as Children’s Mental Health Day in the Elwha Community.

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services/The Washington State System of Care Project, Lacey
The Washington State System of Care Project partnered with their local Youth ’N Action advocacy program to host two “Stand Up for Mental Health” events. The events featured local youth leaders from Youth ’N Action who did stand-up comedy routines about their mental health journeys. These activities are part of an ongoing campaign that extends into SAMHSA’s Recovery Month in September.

Washington, DC

National Council for Behavioral Health
Leadership from the National Council for Behavioral Health attended and live-tweeted the national event, which they encouraged individuals in their local networks to attend. The organization also encouraged their local and state networks to watch the live webcast of the national event and join the social media conversation using #Heroesofhope. The National Council for Behavioral Health also hosted an engaging Twitter chat.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry celebrated Awareness Day through social media and through mentions in their publications. The organization also secured local and national media coverage regarding Awareness Day.

National Association for the Education of Young Children
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) invited NAEYC-accredited programs in the DC area to attend the Awareness Day event. Individuals in the organization who could not attend viewed the live webcast and participated in the online discussion. NAEYC also engaged on social media using #Heroesofhope.

District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health
Building on their Awareness Day 2015 efforts, the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health hosted a 5K walk and community rally event. More than 300 people attended the event, through which the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health was able to connect community members with local providers.

ZERO TO THREE promoted Awareness Day through multiple social media channels. They had several members of their organizational staff members attend the live event in DC.

Last Updated: 08/15/2019