Thu May 07, 2015
ARLINGTON, Va. – Each year, the American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) works with thousands of health providers, parents and school districts to raise awareness of children’s mental health issues. Today, this work will take center stage during the 10th annual National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and APF are co-hosting Strengthening Communities by Integrating Care, a celebratory event in Washington, D.C., along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and a wide range of mental health organizations.
The event will take place at 1:30 pm EDT and will be live streamed online. The event includes leaders in children’s mental health along with youth who have experienced mental health issues, and will honor singer/songwriter Mary Lambert.
APA President Paul Summergrad, M.D., will highlight one of APF’s educational initiatives during the event. The Typical or Troubled?® program has trained more than 70,000 teachers and school administrators, as well as more than 10,000 parents, to recognize signs of mental illness in children and youth. Typical or Troubled?® also gives teachers and parents tools they need to take action, talk with children who appear to be struggling and refer them to appropriate resources for treatment.
Dr. Summergrad notes: “Through years of research, we know that early recognition, intervention and treatment of a mental disorder can make a positive difference for a child—potentially preventing a life-altering or life-ending event. That’s why increasing awareness of the signs of mental illness is so critical—whether it is through a targeted program such as Typical or Troubled?® or awareness events like National Children’s Mental Health Day.”
As many as 20 percent of children ages 8 to 15 experience a mental disorder in any given year, and half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14, research and federal statistics show. “Making sure that parents, educators and health providers know about children’s mental health, especially given the challenges and traumas that many young people live with, is essential to ensure that children and youth who have mental illnesses get the help they need,” Summergrad said.
More information about mental health is available on the American Psychiatric Association website.
The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at www.psychiatry.org.
The American Psychiatric Foundation, a subsidiary of the American Psychiatric Association, works to create a mentally healthy nation by advancing mental health, overcoming mental illness, and eliminating stigma. Visit the APF at www.americanpsychiatricfoundation.org.
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