In 2005, SAMHSA hosted the first Awareness Day event in Washington, DC, in response to requests by systems of care grantees that indicated that a national observance would amplify and support the work they were doing at the community level.
Awareness Day 2019
Suicide is a serious public health problem that causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. That’s why the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) made suicide prevention the focus of its National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2019 event. “Suicide Prevention: Strategies That Work” showcased evidence-based strategies that can save lives and provided resources to connect those in need to information, services, and supports.
SAMHSA’s event included suicide prevention experts and federal agency personnel, along with a family member and youth who shared stories about how evidence-based practices saved children’s lives and put them on a path to recovery. The event served as a launch for activities being held across the country throughout the month. States, tribes, territories, and communities across the nation are encouraged to host events and activities around children’s mental health throughout the month of May. Watch the archived webcast (1 hour, 9 minutes).
Awareness Day 2018
Awareness Day 2018: “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma” focused on an integrated health approach to supporting children, youth, and young adults who have experienced trauma. Specifically, the event addressed how to transform the children’s mental health, child welfare, and public health systems to become trauma-informed.
The 2018 event took place on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in Washington, DC, at The George Washington University’s Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre. SAMHSA collaborated with state mental health commissioners around the country to identify 18 governors’ spouses who are addressing trauma-informed care and children’s mental health issues in their states. Six of these first spouses, along with the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), attended Awareness Day 2018 as Honorary Chairpersons. HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar presented each of them with SAMHSA’s Special Recognition Award. Watch the archived webcast (2 hours, 5 minutes).
Awareness Day 2017
Awareness Day 2017: “Partnering for Help and Hope” focused on the importance of addressing physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs together when providing services and supports for children, youth, and young adults.
SAMHSA’s Awareness Day 2017 event took place on Thursday, May 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. Olympic champions Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt served as Honorary Chairpersons of the event and received Special Recognition Awards from Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas E. Price, M.D. Mr. Phelps and Ms. Schmitt have supported each other through mental health challenges and emerged as advocates for treating mental health as an intrinsic part of overall wellness. Watch the archived webcast (1 hour, 53 minutes).
Awareness Day 2016
Awareness Day 2016: “Finding Help, Finding Hope.” focused on strategies for improving access to community-based behavioral health services for children, youth, and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders and their families.
SAMHSA’s Awareness Day 2016 event took place on Thursday, May 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. Held at The George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium, took audiences back to the basics to increase understanding about children’s mental health needs, as well as the services and supports to that are available to meet those needs. Watch the archived webcast (1 hour, 38 minutes).
Additional Awareness Day archived webcasts can be views on SAMHSA’s YouTube page.