Friday, May 4, 2012

Mental Health Awareness

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
This is the bulletin board our student services staff put up for the month of May to call attention to mental health.  It uses the "Bust It" theme from a special activity our school psychologist did with our upper elementary students several years ago.  The board has a variety of myths and facts about mental health and mental illness.
Do More for 1 in 4 is a call to action to help the 1 in 4 American adults who live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition and the fact that they can go on to live full and productive lives. This is the theme for this years month long campaign.

This year, May 9th marks the 7th anniversary of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Each year the event’s goal is to increase awareness about the importance of children's mental health, reinforcing the belief that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth. There is a free colorful printable poster on the website.
We are encouraged to wear green or a green ribbon on Wednesday, May 9 to call attention to National children's Mental Health Day.  There is also a free lunch time webinar "Assessment and Intervention to Promote Resiliency in Children and Adolescents" being offered that day. Sign up at the web site noted above.

Our school division requires that we teach all fifth graders a lesson about serious mental illness called "Breaking the Silence: Teaching the Next Generation About Mental Illness."  The materials for this lesson (as well as a middle and high school lesson) are available free from the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill. Again the aim is to de-stigmatize mental illness.  The students are always very interested in this lesson.

We also send home information about these mental health awareness activities to parents and list the school student services staff as resources.

"Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all." ~ Bill Clinton

1 comment:

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