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National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
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Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Intro

Children’s Mental Health Day is May 9, 2024. For nearly 20 years, SAMHSA has recognized Children’s Mental Health Day to bring attention to the mental health needs of children and young people.

Children and young people in this country are experiencing an unprecedented mental health crisis; there has been a continued rise in the number diagnosed with anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. An estimated one in five youth has a diagnosable mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder – yet many do not receive the help they need. And these mental health challenges can significantly impact their ability to learn and develop.

In the past three years, during the Biden-Harris Administration, SAMHSA has invested more than $1.5 billion in youth mental health programs (FY 2022-FY 2024).

SAMHSA’s youth programs are focused on promoting wellness and the prevention, treatment, and recovery of mental health and substance use from early childhood to young adulthood. SAMHSA’s strategy supports the President’s Unity Agenda to address the national mental health crisis and overdose epidemic.

Project AWARE and Other Grant Programs for Children and Youth

Project AWARE and Other Grant Programs for Children and Youth

This fiscal year (FY24) alone, SAMHSA will invest more than $550 million to support children’s mental health through numerous grant programs, including more than $110 million for Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education), a program that helps schools develop sustainable infrastructure for school-based mental health programs and services. SAMHSA recognizes that schools are uniquely positioned to help provide mental health support to children, with educators often among the first to notice mental health concerns among their students.

Other grant programs funded by SAMHSA this year include (but are not limited to):

Social Media Toolkit

Kids hands in colorful paint. Text reads “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day”

Post Copy - X (formerly Twitter): Today is National #ChildrensMentalHealthAwarenessDay! For nearly 20 years, SAMHSA has recognized Children’s Mental Health Day to bring attention to the mental health needs of children and young people. Learn more: samhsa.gov/observances/national-childrens-mental-health-awareness-day #CMHAD2024

Post Copy - Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram: Today is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. This is a special day for all of us to recognize that our children’s mental health matters! samhsa.gov/observances/national-childrens-mental-health-awareness-day #CMHAD2024

Post Copy - All Platforms: #ChildrensMentalHealthAwarenessDay: Positive mental health is essential for kids—it means reaching milestones, learning healthy social skills & coping when there are problems. Let's bring awareness about the needs of children's mental health! samhsa.gov/observances/national-childrens-mental-health-awareness-day #AwarenessDay

Alt-text: Kids hands in colorful paint. Text reads “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day”

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 Children's Mental Health Awareness Day Graphic (PNG | 774 KB)

Kids hands in colorful paint. Text reads “You’re not alone. Help is available” with a list of helplines: 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Call 988 (LGBTQI+ Youth press 3) Text 988 (LGBTQI+ Youth text “pride”) Chat 988Lifeline.org; SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1800662HELP (4357); Disaster Distress Helpline 18009855990 Veterans Crisis Line Dial 988 press 1; Findtreatment.gov; Findsupport.gov

Post Copy - All Platforms: #ChildrensMentalHealthAwarenessDay: Positive mental health is essential for kids—it means reaching milestones, learning healthy social skills & coping when there are problems. Let's bring awareness about the needs of children's mental health! samhsa.gov/observances/national-childrens-mental-health-awareness-day #AwarenessDay

When a child is experiencing mental health challenges it impacts their family as well. Help is available. Visit samhsa.gov/find-help for free, confidential support 24/7. If a young person in your life is going through a tough time, remind them that there’s always help and hope. #NCMHAD #988Lifeline #AwarenessDay #MHAM2024

Alt-text: Kids hands in colorful paint. Text reads “You’re not alone. Help is available” with a list of helplines: 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Call 988 (LGBTQI+ Youth press 3) Text 988 (LGBTQI+ Youth text "pride") Chat 988Lifeline.org; SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1800662HELP (4357); Disaster Distress Helpline 18009855990 Veterans Crisis Line Dial 988 press 1; Findtreatment.gov; Findsupport.gov

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 You're not alone. Help is available. Graphic (PNG | 532 KB)

Kids hands in colorful paint. Text reads “For Parents and Caregivers of Children” Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Post Copy - All Platforms: #ChildrensMentalHealthAwarenessDay: It can be tough to tell if troubling behavior in a child is just a part of growing up or a problem that should be discussed with a health professional. Be aware of the warning signs of distress: samhsa.gov/mental-health/how-to-talk/parents-and-caregivers #AwarenessDay #MHAM2024

Alt-text: Kids hands in colorful paint. Text reads “For Parents and Caregivers of Children” Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

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 For Parents and Caregivers of Children Graphic (PNG | 544 KB)

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Programs and Initiatives Supporting Children and Youth

SAMHSA initiatives aimed at improving children’s mental health include:

  • In 2022, SAMHSA funded the American Academy of Pediatrics to establish a Center of Excellence on Social Media and Mental Wellbeing (SMMW-CoE) to develop and disseminate information, guidance, and training on the impact—including risks and benefits—that social media use has on children and young people, especially to their mental health. The Center also examines clinical and social interventions that can be used to prevent and mitigate the risks.
  • SAMHSA also co-chairs the Kids Online Health and Safety Task Force with the Department of Commerce, which was established in May 2023.
  • In 2023, SAMHSA celebrated 10 years of “Talk. They Hear You,” a campaign that helps parents, caregivers and others to get informed, be prepared, and take action to prevent underage drinking and other substance use.
  • In 2022, SAMHSA developed Screen4Success, a user-friendly screening and referral management tool for individuals, families, and caregivers to identify signs of elevated risk and find resources and support at the local and national level.
  • In 2023, SAMHSA launched the FentAlert: Empowering Youth for Safer Choices Challenge. This first-of-its-kind challenge centered youth voices in the development of prevention messaging that discusses the dangers of fentanyl and fake pills.
  • What is Suicide and Suicidal Behavior?
  • The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline offers 24/7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use, and/or mental health crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also call, text or chat 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
  • The 2024 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention is a comprehensive, whole-of-society approach to suicide prevention that provides concrete recommendations for addressing gaps in the suicide prevention field.
Learn more about SAMHSA
Last Updated
Last Updated: 05/08/2024
Last Updated