Mayor Vincent C. Gray proclaimed May 9, 2012 as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in the District of Columbia to raise awareness about available mental health services for children, youth and their families.
The Department of Mental Health offers a wide range of early childhood intervention, prevention and treatment services that are easy to access in community based clinics across the District. Mobile emergency crisis teams also provide on-site treatment for children experiencing a psychiatric or emotional crisis. Services can be accessed by calling the Access Helpline at 1-888-793-4357 to talk to a mental health counselor.
Nearly 4,500 District children and youth receive services through the Mental Health Department primarily in child development centers, public schools, and community clinics.
“Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is an opportunity to show that children and youth with mental health needs—as well as their families—thrive when they have the right treatment and supports,” said Stephen T. Baron, Director of the Department of Mental Health. “An emotional or mental illness should not be a barrier to a child reaching his or her full potential.”
For more information about mental health services, go to www.dmh.dc.gov and click on Children, Youth and Family Services.
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day was started in 2006 by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and other national organizations to raise awareness of effective programs for children’s mental health needs.