May is Mental Health Month and Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day!

Every year, May is designated as Mental Health Month, and May 7th is focused on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. This year is the 10th Anniversary of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and the theme is integrating behavioral health with primary health care, education, and child welfare to better serve children and adolescents. Check the COACT Colorado calendar for details on the events described below.

On Friday, May 1st, Governor John Hickenlooper will sign a proclamation designating May as Mental Health Month in Colorado. The proclamation event will be held at Santa Fe House in Littleton at noon. Colorado Department of Human Services Executive Director Reggie Bicha and Mental Health America of Colorado President and CEO Andrew Romanoff will also be speaking at the event.

On Thursday, May 7th, SAMHSA will host Awareness Day 2015: Strengthening Communities by Integrating Care, a national event that will highlight strategies for best supporting the needs of children, youth, and young adults with mental and substance use disorders by coordinating behavioral health care with other child serving systems. COACT Colorado will host a live viewing and discussion of the national webcast from SAMHSA for all of our state and community partners. The local viewing will be held at Fort Logan Mental Health Institute from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Please RSVP to ashley.brock-baca@state.co.us. If you are not in the metro Denver area, you can view the webcast at http://fdastudios.com/20150507-mentalhealth2015/.

On May 19th, Mental Health First Aid of Colorado will host a training event to offer free Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid classes to everyone in the community. The event, Stepping Up for Our Communities, will be held at Arapahoe Community College. Register at http://www.mhfaco.org/.

Finally, everyone is invited to the Stigma Jam event at the culmination of the Youth Summit on Mental Health. The Stigma Jam will take place on June 2nd from 5:30 to 7:30pm at Green Spaces in Denver. Youth from around the state will be presenting on what they have learned from each other at the summit and their creative expressions on reducing mental health stigma. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to hear from youth!

What is your community doing to promote awareness of children’s mental health? Let us know by contacting ashley.brock-baca@state.co.us!

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COACT Colorado is a cooperative initiative between the Colorado Department of Human Services and other state, local, and federal partners