Awareness Day 2018

Awareness Day 2018 was on Thursday, May 10.

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, at 7 p.m. EDT in Washington, DC, at The George Washington University’s Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre.

The event featured an interactive discussion moderated by NBC4 Washington anchor Aaron Gilchrist and provided an opportunity for primary care and mental health professionals; child-serving professionals; and families, youth, and young adults across the country to pose questions to speakers through email and social media.

Senior federal officials and experts in the fields of mental health, child welfare, military health, and primary care, along with family and youth leaders, answered questions from both the live and virtual audiences. The speakers shared evidence-based practices that are effective in making child-serving systems more trauma-informed. Watch the on-demand webcast (2 hours, 5 minutes) of SAMHSA’s event to hear remarks and panel discussions.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II delivered remarks at the event, saying, “Communities across our nation are implementing trauma-informed approaches to better respond to the needs of children and their families. Everyone can chip in to this effort: mental health and primary health providers, teachers, coaches, mentors, neighbors, faith leaders … everybody.”

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. Secretary Azar presented each of them with SAMHSA’s Special Recognition Award.

Additional Background Information

Communities, national collaborating organizations, and federal programs organized local Awareness Day activities and events around the country.

Last Updated: 04/17/2019