Green is the color of springtime and hope. That’s why you’ll be seeing it just about everywhere during the week of May 1-5 at Swope Health Services as we celebrate Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
This national recognition is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. The agency’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
“We want to remove the stigma of seeking help,” said Kortney Carr, Director of Children’s Behavioral Health Services. “We want to spread the word about what we can do to help with depression, anxiety, fitting in and being comfortable in your own skin.”
For the third consecutive year, the Children’s Behavioral Health Services team has sponsored a full week of activities to help raise awareness and spread the word, said Ashley Daniels, Community Support Supervisor and part of the committee organizing the week’s events.
“Our lineup is bigger than ever,” said Ashley. “We’re excited to share information and encourage others to help spread the word.”
Indeed, we encourage anyone participating in the week or in the SHS-sponsored activities to use the hashtag #ShareYourTruth on the various social media platforms
Want to participate? Here’s the lineup of events:
Monday, May 1: Stop by the information tables in the main lobby of Swope Health Central for a chance to meet members of the Children’s Behavioral Health Services staff. You can pick up information on mental health and buy buttons, stickers and green ribbons to commemorate the week. All proceeds will be used to buy supplies for Children’s Behavioral Health activities.
Tuesday, May 2, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Join in a celebration with families of children in SHS programs. You’ll find refreshments and festivities in the activity room in Building C. Participants will get a “passport” to visit a series of tables operated by SHS and community support agencies including the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), Solace House Center for Grief and Healing and Aim4Peace, a Kansas City public health program. Participants who get stamps from all the tables are entered into a drawing for prizes.
The evening program includes “Shining Star” Awards and Success Stories, followed by The Battery Tour. This local band is fronted by the artist AY who performs in a personal and expressive style, emphasizing connections with his audience. The band will lead a discussion before performing.
Wednesday, May 3, Noon: Youth Mental Health Awareness Committee Members will create and distribute cards with positive messages and special green stickers to help raise awareness.
Thursday, May 4, is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Join in the Parent Workshop from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with families enrolled in SHS programs. The workshop features activities in parenting, emphasizing self-care and resiliency, how to redirect and reward, and other interpersonal tools and skills. The program includes separate activities for kids. Refreshments will be served.
Friday, May 5: Come celebrate with us at the Kansas City Public Library at the Lucile H. Bluford Branch, 3050 Prospect Ave., and the Southeast Branch, 6242 Swope Parkway. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., you can meet with SHS staff and learn about our programs as well as examine selected books from the branches to support self-care and awareness of behavioral health for children and adults.
The week’s activities align with national programs focusing on the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth, and young adults with mental health or substance abuse disorders. Come join us – and plan on wearing green!
Would you like more information on our Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programs for children or adults? Please stop by or schedule an appointment at 816-825-6099.