Awareness Day 2017 Activities

Read about activities that communities across the country planned for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2017!

Read about activities that communities across the country planned for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2017! 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.

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National Organizations

The entire Awareness Day Executive Planning Committee promoted Awareness Day activities and engagement opportunities through their communications platforms. The Executive Planning Committee includes the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association Foundation, American Psychological Association, Association of State & Territorial Health Officials, Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association, Mental Health America, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National Council for Behavioral Health, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, Jed Foundation, Visiting Nurse Association of America, Youth M.O.V.E. National, and ZERO TO THREE.

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in New York City, New York celebrated Awareness Day with discussion panels, a social media live stream, social media coverage of the Washington, D.C., event, and added archival materials/links to their webpage.

The American Psychological Association hosted a Twitter Chat “Why Integrated Care is Good for Children’s Mental Health.” The chat was co-hosted by:

  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • The Jed Foundation
  • The National Council for Behavioral Health
  • Zero to Three

The American Academy of Family Physicians promoted Awareness Day and national engagement activities through its social media platforms.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants shared Awareness Day related materials and promoted national engagement activities through its social media platforms.

The Jed Foundation in New York City, New York, supported Awareness Day via social media and email. It also encouraged its audiences to watch the webcast of SAMHSA’s Washington, D.C., event.

Casey Family Programs in Washington, D.C., promoted Awareness Day on social media and to its staff across the country. It also promoted the SAMHSA Awareness Day event to staff, as well as state and community partners.

Federal Partner

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services partnered with SAMHSA to promote fully integrated care during National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. HRSA collaborated with SAMHSA to develop messaging, create content, and promote the Washington, D.C., event. During SAMHSA’s Awareness Day event on May 4, two of HRSA’s grantees were featured in a video about the integration of behavioral health and primary care for children and youth, including the provision of care to rural and underserved communities through telehealth approaches.


The Fairbanks Native Association, in partnership with the Tanana Chiefs Conference, hosted a screening of “Chasing the Dragon,” a short film on heroin addiction. The film was followed by an expert panel discussion with questions and answers.


The Pascua Yaqui Tribe-Sewa Uusim Community Partnership in Tucson celebrated Awareness Day by bringing attention to children’s mental health through child abuse and sexual assault prevention. To do this, they held several events and trainings, one of which was “Mind Your Mind,” focusing on teen and youth mental health. Other events included a youth talent show and a raffle.


The Division of Behavioral Health Services in Little Rock held activities throughout the state, including mayoral proclamations broadcasting, a 5K run, family fun days, trainings, and more.


In California, Culver City’s Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services celebrated Awareness Day with a blog post from their CEO, as well as social and traditional media outreach.

BATISC Trauma Transformed in Oakland, California, observed Awareness Day by promoting awareness and action through multiple social marketing groups, social media, and regional youth and family healing teams. They also provided information about the Washington, D.C., event on social media and their website.

The City of Pasadena System of Care Expansion team worked in collaboration with the police, public library, mental health providers, and their youth advisory board to celebrate Awareness Day. There was a mayoral proclamation at the central library, a speech by the city’s public health director, a community forum with breakout sessions, and representatives from more than 20 local mental health providers who provided information to youth and families.

In Eureka, Humboldt County Children’s System of Care/BRIDGES celebrated with proclamations, walks, barbecues, and a family skate day. They also had a “red carpet” theater event showcasing youth videos that brought awareness to mental health and foster care.

Project ABC in Los Angeles joined with their county’s department of mental health and First 5–Los Angeles to present "The Power of Play–Children and Families Growing Together,” a free community event to reduce mental health misperceptions and increase access to services for children ages 0–5 and their families. Nearly 1,000 attendees learned about services in the community and 30 families experienced parent-child interaction therapy.

The Tule River Tribe System of Care in Porterville, California worked with local departments under the Tule River Tribal Council and the Tule River Indian Health Center to initiate booths, games, and activities that educated on mental health awareness.

The Yurok Tribe in Eureka observed Awareness Day with a game night that includes presentations, mental health information, and resource tables.


CONNECTing Children and Families to Care in Rocky Hill hosted a dinner and showing of SAMHSA’s Awareness Day event. CONNECTing Children and Families to Care also held more than 30 events throughout May, such as a walk, a “family fun fest,” a family expo, a youth summit, presentations and trainings, and more.

District of Columbia

The American Psychological Association supported Awareness Day in numerous ways. It invited psychologists, educators, families, and others to view the live webcast and encouraged its members to share information about the event and to host viewing activities with their own networks. In addition, the organization was very active online and through social media. It blogged about the integration of primary and behavioral health care for children and disparities in access to care for racial and ethnic minority children, held a Twitter chat, posted a Facebook video, and live tweeted theAwareness Day Live!event. Finally, it disseminated “Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Racial and Ethnic Minority Youth.”

The National Association for the Education of Young Children shared Awareness Day and mental health information with their local accredited centers through posts on social media.

The National Council for Behavioral Health hosted a reception to celebrate Awareness Day.

The Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology promoted evidence-based psychosocial treatments, prevention programs, and techniques for assessing and understanding the behavioral and mental health of children and adolescents. They had a member serve as a backstage subject matter expert to review submitted questions, encouraged members to hold watch parties, and hosted a webinar for mental health professionals the day after the event.


This year, the Federation of Families Miami-Dade Chapter observed Awareness Day by hosting a complementary alternative medicine event. The purpose of the event was to encourage the community to take charge of their wellness by introducing them to alternative healing methods such as exercise, healthy eating, and aromatherapy.

To celebrate Awareness Day in Miami Gardens, the Federation of Families/Beyond Empowerment Grant hosted a complementary alternative medicine event. Participants were provided information on Zumba, healthy eating, and aromatherapy.

The Federation of Families of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville sponsored a meeting where they released green balloons. They also had pictures taken with SOCI board members, members of the Federation of Families, and their Mental Health First Aid Bear.

The Jacksonville System of Care Initiative in Jacksonville promoted the new University of Florida Health Pediatric Wellness Center, hosted an award ceremony, and promoted the Awareness Day event in Washington, D.C.

One Community Partnership 2 in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida held their 2nd Annual OCP2 Wellness Day at Central Broward Regional Park. More than 15 partners and agencies and nearly 400 families, youth, and young adults participated in a day of activities that included yoga, sports, crafts, lyrical expression, and performances. Following the performances, they held an award ceremony that recognized young people, families, and community members who made a difference through their work and personal stories of hope and strength.

Orange County Government/Wraparound Orange, Orlando celebrated Awareness Day through their 7th annual “Healthy Minds Healthy Lives Annual Fun Day.” The event raised awareness of and celebrated the continuous work being done related to children’s mental and physical health. So far, this event has included more than 7,000 families and has featured more than 50 community-based organizations providing resources, food, and entertainment. At this year’s event, there was an array of activities, such as rock-climbing walls, bounce houses, a rope course, farm produce, and messaging intended to reduce mental health misperceptions and promote positive physical health.

Seminole System of Care in Sanford celebrated Awareness Day with a Hollywood Walk of Fame themed event hosted by Youth M.O.V.E. The event had stations for youth to visit, and each station was labeled as a “set” to go along with theme (i.e., “Social Set,” “Emotional Set,” etc.). Also available was a photo booth, Instagram/Facebook cut outs, games, and food. Local awards were also presented.


Aspire Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Services in Albany hosted its 2nd annual “Aspire to Shine 5K and Fun Run.” The event featured face painting, a petting zoo, jumping castles, a balloon release, and concessions.

In Valdosta, the Behavioral Health Services of South Georgia held a balloon release, a “green out day” with local schools, and a fundraiser.

The DeKalb Community Service Board in Decatur held an art contest, “lunch and learns,” and wore green to celebrate Awareness Day.

Lookout Mountain CME and Gordon County Suicide Prevention Coalition in Fort Oglethorpe held a wellness fair in partnership with local behavioral health, trauma, and crisis services.

CPT4Families created a candlelight vigil, organized a “Breakfast and Learn,” and sent an educational video to more than 1,000 providers, PTAs, and parent advocacy groups. They created buttons for Waffle House and IHOP services that said “Finding Help. Finding Hope. Children’s Mental Wellness Matters.”

Hands of Hope organized a Family Field Day in East Point, Georgia.

Family Advocates of GA hosted a family dinner discussion on children’s mental health topics and hosted a table of information at a family fun day with the local legislature.

Reestablishing the Village organized a Mental Health Awareness Day with Parent Café at the Clarkston Public Library.

Foster & Adoptive Parents of Georgia organized a Parent Café that focused on tools for parenting a child or youth with a behavioral health disorder or developmental disability. The CEO will speak at the Ties That Bind conference for foster and adoptive parents.

NWGA FFCMH hosted a kickoff event at the Rome Department of Family and Children Services, a Come Dance in My Shoes event, a family conference, a Self-Care & Motivation Cage, and a Trucking the Community with Mental Health and Nutrition event.

STEM hosted a cookout with food, information packets, green ribbons, music, games, and a presentation on mental illness impact on communities.

Kids Like Moses Advocacy, Inc. hosted an Annual Family Day, a guest speaker, performances from children, Moses’ art display, literature table on children’s mental health, DJ, authors speaking about their work for young adults, American Airlines pilot taking photos with children, craft and activity table, vendors, and giveaways.

Georgia Parent Support Network organized a proclamation from the governor, provided mental health information packets to various people, including to each Georgia legislator, and hosted events including a panel discussion and youth art and poetry contest.

Integrated Concepts for Families held a Family Fun Day with speakers, information tables, and food and games for children, youth, and families.

Early Learning Resource Group held a children’s walk, including food, games, activities, literature, speaker, and booths set up for information from community partners around children’s mental health.


Karinu–Department of Public Health and Social Services in Hagatna hosted events throughout the week leading up to Awareness Day. The events included a proclamation signing, a media blitz, a wear green day, and an interactive fair.

Para I Famau’on-ta/icareguam in Hagatna held several activities to celebrate Awareness Day including a proclamation and a “wacky wave” where staff, partners, and families dressed in wacky outfits and waved on the sides of busy intersections carrying signs with positive mental health messages. They also had an event involving interactive teaching and an art display. At this event, they showcased local artwork created by artists, youth, and families. The event also had three interactive components: one was a giant name tag where people were invited to write their names or a negative name that they were once called as a reminder that we are all human. Another was an interactive “mental note board” where people were invited to leave or take a note a sticky note that had an affirming message. The last was a giant chalkboard with the word “stigma” scribbled on it and the people were invited to erase the word and replace it with a positive word as a symbolic act to “erase stigma.” There were also outreach tables that had information about the range of services available.


In Honolulu, Project Laulima worked with partners to organize activities statewide, such as informational fairs, sign waving events, and more.


In Rexburg, Madison School District–Madison Cares distributed posters throughout the community in support of Awareness Day, as well as distributed ribbons and mental health resources. They also planned to cover their local Main Street with large green ribbons. Finally, the system of care also offered a link where people could obtain information on children’s mental health, and offered a live webcast of the event in Washington, D.C., to their partners and supporting agencies.


The American Academy of Pediatrics in Elk Grove Village celebrated Awareness Day through social media, as well as internal communications to its members. Through these channels, the organization shared the Awareness Day message and included links to relevant information.

In Eldorado, Project Connect 2.0 observed Awareness Day through a range of activities, including “Walk the Block” community celebrations, an “ACES Lunch and Learn” presentation, children’s mental health bulletin board packets, a “wear green” day, baseball awareness sleeves campaign, metal signs with children’s mental health facts, daily social media postings, school health fair involvement, and handmade green Awareness Day ribbons for businesses.

Illinois Department of Mental Health Child and Adolescent Services–Illinois United for Youth in Chicago hosted a lunch and learn with lecturers from a local children’s hospital. They also created an awareness bulletin board in their office building highlighting SAMHSA's Awareness Day honorary chairpersons and local athletes. Finally, they distributed ribbons and hosted a “wear green day” activity.


The Indiana System of Care in Indianapolis celebrated Awareness Day with an art contest, youth mental health first aid training, a book distribution, mental health trainings, a local community awareness campaign, a “Girl Talk” mentoring program, various high school resources, an afterschool club, “Take Care of Your Selfie” kits, and a performance of “The Court.”

Oaklawn in Elkhart celebrated Awareness Day through mindfulness lessons in 16 first grade classrooms. The event included a crafting activity where students collaborated to make mindfulness water bottles.


Youth M.O.V.E. National in Decorah, Iowa, will promote the Awareness Day event directly to their local chapters and through social media. They also will host a “MOVE It Forward: Whole Health, Whole Self” campaign for Awareness Month. The campaign engages chapters to think about how mental wellness is affected in the workplace, and what kind of guidelines they could push forward to make a difference. Outside of chapter engagement, Youth M.O.V.E. National will hold an Awareness Day-related virtual focus group in late April and a Twitter chat in May, as well as promote the Awareness Day national event through social media.


The Kansas System of Care in Topeka held “listening sessions” in three communities and participated in Awareness Day activities in Ashland with a family-run organization.


In Frankfort, Kentucky, the Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children hosted a luncheon and a program that covers bias/disproportionality.


In Annapolis, Anne Arundel County: RESPOND had a children’s mental health resource fair followed by a live viewing of the Awareness Day SAMHSA event. They also presented an award to the winner of a slogan contest.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services partnered with SAMHSA to promote fully integrated care during National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. HRSA collaborated with SAMHSA to develop messaging, create content, and promote the Washington, D.C., event. During SAMHSA’s Awareness Day event, two of HRSA’s grantees were featured in a video about the integration of behavioral health and primary care for children and youth, including the provision of care to rural and underserved communities through telehealth approaches.

Prince George’s County System of Care in Largo and the Prince George’s County Health Department promoted Awareness Day through social media. They worked with a local coalition on activities, such as proclamations, a flash mob, a “walk and play” event, a family mental health and wellness expo, public speaking events, and the development of bookmarks created by children. They also created and distributed a graphic card and a fact sheet.

The Southern Maryland BRIDGE Project–Maryland Family Network in Baltimore held its first Southern Maryland BRIDGE Builders Awards for Championing Children’s Behavioral Health. The ceremony took place at the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata. In addition, the system of care used social media to promote Awareness Day and messages related to children’s mental health.


The Boston Public Health Commission celebrated Awareness Day by updating its website and Twitter feeds with relevant messages, and by distributing information, resources, and holding activities at one of their community health centers.

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health/Success for Transition Age Youth (STAY) in Boston held their Statewide Young Adult Council’s 10th Anniversary and Young Adult Peer Recognition event. They also created a video showcasing all of the work that young adults in Massachusetts accomplished.


In Muskegon County, the Enhanced Partnership: Expanding and Sustaining Muskegon County’s System of Care observed Awareness Day 2017 by participating in a statewide “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” day at the capitol. They helped coordinate the speakers from the podium at the event, bussed approximately 50–75 consumers to the capitol, and arranged meetings with their legislators.

In Grand Rapids, Community Family Partnership continued their “UP2U” campaign by passing out mental health materials and offering mental health first aid to local churches and community centers. They also distributed green ribbons, placed an ad in a local newspaper, and went to their state capital building to present information about children’s mental health.

Kalamazoo Wraps in Kalamazoo held its 12th Annual Carnival, which included activities for kids, entertainment tents with youth performers, games, face painting, balloons, a bounce house, a magician, dancers, giveaways, and free treats like cotton candy and hot dogs. It also had information from service providers and businesses about children’s mental health and how to access local support and services.

Saginaw Max System of Care in Saginaw observed Awareness Day with “Mental Health Ambassador” trainings, refreshments, and a youth dance.

In Detroit, When We Work Together, Then We Are Wise hosted a Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day rally at a local park. At the event, local vendors had resource tables for youth, families, and adults, and attendees participated in games, face painting, bounce houses, and enjoyed local entertainment and youth artists.

Detroit, Michigan’s American Indian Health and Family Services observed Awareness Day by hosting an activity with informational booths, food, drinks, games, and other resources for youth and families.

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority/Youth United observed Awareness Day with a one-mile walk, a rally, and a resource fair.


CAN of the Golden Triangle System of Care in Columbus partnered with Mississippi State University for a fundraiser campus walk. At the walk, they gave out water bottles with a positive mental health message and had inspirational T-shirts for staff and youth. After the walk, they raised money through a bake sale with youth-made items. The system of care also hosted a viewing of the event in Washington, D.C.

Communicare/HYPED 4 CHANGE in Oxford held two events: The first event was a film viewing, followed by a discussion. The second event had informational booths run by local agencies with games and activities for children and families.

NFusion Metro in Jackson held a block party at the state capitol with state agencies, college recruiters, food and clothing vendors, entertainers, and children’s activities.

NFusion Desoto hosted a field day event at a local park that included youth-led activities, information from local stakeholders, and food. They distributed infographics to various health locations and reached approximately 200 people with information on mental health and services in Mississippi.

Project XPand offered a mental health first aid training to communities across the state during the month of May, and made information about SAMHSA’s event available to their communities.

Mississippi BUDS in Jackson handed out informational resources at a Mental Health Awareness Day event in Fondren. More than 1,000 people attended the event.


SOC-CESS in Joplin, Jefferson City, and Springfield hosted a block party with activities, games, information booths, food, drinks, giveaway items, and a photo booth. They also participated in Cole County Youth Day and a “Day at the Pond” at Burrell Children’s Center.

The St. Louis Regional System of Care observed Awareness Day by partnering with a local Project LAUNCH SAMHSA-funded initiative and statewide system of care to display a traveling photo gallery by Missouri youth at an interactive, family-friendly event.


The Santee Sioux Tribe Society of Care in Lincoln held a “Turning the Mental Health Stigma Inside Out” movie night. The night started with a community meal and an eagle feather/plume ceremony followed by a movie about feelings. Children were provided with a “Today I Feel” log to accompany the movie, and adults were introduced to yoga, the concept of honoring their bodies, and information about setting up a space to go to re-center themselves.

NeSOC–Nebraska Expansion and Sustainability in Lincoln celebrated Awareness Day by partnering with their behavioral health regions and family-run organizations to support the “10th Annual Pony Express Ride Across Nebraska Benefit Ride for Children’s Mental Health Awareness.” On the ride, there were stops throughout Nebraska to gather letters written by children, their families, and supporters about children’s mental health. Once collected, the letters were hand-delivered to government officials at the state capitol. There were also community events scheduled at many of the stops across the state.


The Nevada System of Care in Reno, Nevada, planned a statewide youth video contest to promote mental and emotional health. They held a statewide youth logo competition in which youth competed to create a self-designed logo that combined the themes of “Nevada” and “children’s mental health awareness.”

New Hampshire

In Keene, the Monadnock Region System of Care

In Concord, the New Hampshire System of Care/NH CBHC/NH Department of Education celebrated Awareness Day through a variety of activities. Highlights include:

  • Schools and community organizations throughout the state held more than 20 events, trainings, and film showings.
  • Mental health advocates attended a State Senate Finance Committee public hearing to advocate for wraparound services.
  • New Hampshire’s governor testified in support of measures to alleviate the emergency room boarding crisis, in which individuals in need of acute mental health treatment are placed in hospital emergency rooms because mental health beds are not available.
  • The governor issued a proclamation naming May 1–7, 2017, as New Hampshire Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
  • CBHC hosted a policy luncheon attended by more than 80 state lawmakers. A national news article was published that brought visibility to the system of care’s efforts to increase mental health services in the state.

New Mexico

In Santa Fe, CYFD hosted a series of events for families across the state.

In San Felipe Pueblo, New Mexico, the local system of care celebrated Awareness Day by hosting a mental health first aid presentation, an ice cream social, a movie night collaboration with the local education department, and a mental health awareness fair.

The Mescalero System of Care planned an evening of family interaction with a guest speaker and partnered with other community programs to present health information and activities for youth and families. They also hosted a 5K run/walk for community members.

New York

NYS ACHIEVE in Albany, New York hosted a “What’s Great in Our State” event to celebrate individuals and programs that support children’s mental health. They also used social media to promote the Washington, D.C., event.

OnCare in Syracuse celebrated Awareness Day with a wellness walk and fair.

Cayuga County Community Mental Health in Auburn observed Awareness Day through activities at a local high school, which included mindfulness eating, bubbles, fidgets, anger management skill building, and coloring.

The County of Rockland’s Department of Mental Health partnered with the Partnership for Safe Youth (PSY) and The Trauma Institute of Orange County to present their 36th Annual Child and Adolescent Workgroup Conference. The conference provided training on trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. PSY staff presented the services that are provided at the center, along with how they assess for trauma within the family system. There were 155 attendees representing several different fields that serve children, youth, and families, including educators, clinicians, county employees, substance misuse treatment providers, mental health providers, and hospital staff. Finally, they held a press conference to kick off National Children’s Mental Health Awareness month for the county.

In Mayville, Chautauqua Tapestry held a newspaper awareness campaign through which they highlighted children’s mental health, local resources, and community partners. They also held a green ribbon gala and family picnic.

NYS Office of Mental Health/NYS ACHIEVE in Albany celebrated Awareness Day through “What's Great in Our State,” which recognized educators, parents, and students who have dedicated themselves to raising awareness of children’s mental health.

North Carolina

The North Carolina SOC Expansion Grant in Raleigh promoted Awareness Day through their email Listserv, social media and meetings. The State governor's mansion also was lit green the evening of Awareness Day and the Governor issued a proclamation. In addition, many local communities received proclamations from their local governments.


Children Matter! Montgomery County in Dayton held a “movie day.”

In Columbus, Youth M.O.V.E. hosted the 2017 Ohio Resiliency Ring at the Ohio Statehouse. There were speeches from youth, parents, a mental health professional, and a former NFL player. In addition to the Statehouse event, a meeting was held with representatives from the various Ohio-based Youth M.O.V.E. chapters.

In Canton, the Stark County System of Care observed Awareness Day with a social media campaign.


The Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center in Pendleton observed Awareness Day by holding a community event with games, information booths, food and a live stream of SAMHSA’s Washington, D.C., event.


The Cherokee Nation HERO Project in Tahlequah partnered with child- and family-serving agencies in the community to host a Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event. At the event, the chief of the Cherokee Nation highlighted the importance of tribal children’s mental health. The event also included dancers and music by local youth. Other activities included a pledge to end mental health discrimination and the creation of an Awareness Day PSA.

In Sapulpa, Muscogee (Creek) Nation–Project Launch celebrated Awareness Day with a presentation, a “wear green” selfie contest, and a proclamation.

Systems of Care in Oklahoma City hosted its annual three-day Children’s Behavioral Health Conference. The conference included keynote speakers, leadership talks, youth presentations, and workshops. Topics included youth engagement, infant mental health, trauma, co-occurring disorders, and behavioral intervention therapies.


Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) in Pittsburgh participated in an annual Mental Health Expo on Awareness Day. At the expo, DHS answered questions and offered information about children’s mental health services.

The Behavioral Health Alliance of Rural Pennsylvania in State College held several events, including a kick-off event, proclamations, “lunch and learn” ice cream socials, LGBTQI trainings, a town park activity to reduce stigma, a book review, QPR training, Earth art adventure for families and youth, and newspaper and radio outreach.

The Erie-Luzerne SOC Initiative in the city of Wilkes-Barre displayed student art projects at the local courthouse as part of an art contest. Winners from various age groups were recognized through an awards ceremony attended by service providers who also provided information and resources. In addition, the winning works of art may be used in the development of a calendar.

HELPing BC-SCORES in Beaver Falls held an event at the Penn State Beaver campus that included keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and more than 200 students from the county’s 12 school districts. After the event, students took information back to their schools and each school participated in streaming the live National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day webcast.

Pennsylvania System of Care Partnership in Harrisburg celebrated Awareness Day with a Tai Chi class, guided meditation workshop, a training, presentation tables, and the showing of local art.

The Philadelphia System of Care Partnership celebrated Awareness Day with a film screening. Young adults from Youth M.O.V.E. and the Philadelphia Alliance for Child Trauma Services (PACTS) shared their stories in short films. Event attendees could also pick up mental health and treatment resources and receive free mental health screenings and counselor assistance.

Puerto Rico

ASSMCA/PR SOCI celebrated Awareness Day by educating their community on the importance of early detection and a community health fair.

South Carolina

In Columbia, South Carolina, the Palmetto System of Care observed Awareness Day with an art contest. They also provided a link to the Washington, D.C., event on their website.

South Dakota

SGU Tiwahe Glu Kini Pi in Mission held a youth wacipi (pow wow) called “An Evening of Social Dancing” in collaboration with a local middle school. The event included a traditional Lakota meal and speakers who presented on the importance of dance to mental health.


In Goodlettsville, the System of Care Across Tennessee Initiative, the Tennessee Voices for Children, and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services organized events across the state. These events included resource fairs and a “Text, Talk, Act” night. There also were proclamations from five local mayors. Finally, a local bridge and courthouse were lit with green lights.


In Waco, the Klaras Center for Families celebrated Awareness Day with a walk, resources for families, a children-led band, youth voice activity, and a butterfly release.

Rural Counties Initiative for Resiliency and Recovery in Plainview, Texas, worked with the Texas System of Care with the theme of “#Flight2FreedomTX.” Activities included:

  • A wind-up butterfly release at a local “Cops and Kids” event and a butterfly release at a local elementary school.
  • A booth on community mental health resources with free items for children.
  • Mental health-related proclamations.
  • An art walk with a booth of mental health resources and coloring pages.
  • An Awareness Day event in a local family resource center.
  • Various speaking engagements.

In Fort Worth, Paving the Way helped to develop the statewide Flight2Freedom program, which used paper butterflies to illustrate various communities’ messages. They also worked with the Texas System of Care to develop a toolkit to use in developing their programs, including a special event checklist, sample news release, sample proclamation, and more. Other activities included helping to develop Family Connection of Tarrant County’s Flight2Freedom Festival, a butterfly “release” for the City on the Hill Program, Awareness Day activities at a middle school, and activities at a public library.


The Fairfax County System of Care, now known as Healthy Minds Fairfax, celebrated Awareness Day with proclamations by Fairfax County, the cities of Fairfax and Fall Church, and the local school board.

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in Richmond held an afternoon cookie break and a community dinner with a panel on hope and recovery.

In Arlington, Virginia, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) blogged about how public health can support children’s mental health initiatives in states and highlighted Awareness Day. ASTHO also shared information about national Awareness Day activities through its newsletters and website.

Alexandria’s American Art Therapy Association in collaboration with Office of Head Start and Youth M.O.V.E. National hosted a special digital exhibition displayed in conjunction with Awareness Day 2017 events. This exhibition celebrated the important role of art and creativity in mental health, wellness, and social-emotional well-being.


The Hoh Indian Tribe in Forks had multiple information and sensory booths from local health providers, who engaged with the Hoh Tribe community, as well as “calming boxes” for youth.

The Lummi System of Care Expansion in Bellingham celebrated Awareness Day with a fitness walk. Also, the Lummi Youth Canoe Family was featured by SAMHSA and shared song, dance, and the regalia they had been working on in preparation for the Annual Canoe Journey for 2017.

Last Updated: 04/17/2019