Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week May 7th – 13th, 2023
Children’s Mental Health Matters
One result of the challenges our nation (and the world) has faced during the last two years, is that now, more than ever, we are aware of and concerned about our mental health – and the state of our children’s mental health.
Last year, the National Federation of Families announced that National Children’s Mental Health “Awareness Week” (CMHAW) would become “Acceptance Week” in 2022.
Last month, the Surgeon General issued an advisory highlighting the urgent need to address our nation’s youth mental health crisis further exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The advisory stresses the urgency of our new campaign message – that it’s time to move beyond awareness and into acceptance – for multiple reasons.
- To accept that 1 in 5 youth experiences a mental health challenge
- To accept that mental health challenges must be met with understanding and support
- To accept that bias and discrimination toward individuals who experience mental health challenges creates a barrier to seeking treatment – and it must be eliminated
- To accept that our youth are facing serious challenges ahead that need to be addressed
- To accept that the future wellbeing of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation
During Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week, May 1st – 7th, we will focus on the importance of this shift from awareness to acceptance. In the coming months, we will announce our activities for this week. We hope this year’s efforts will inspire new thinking, action, and change that help improve the state of mental health for our children and youth and their families.
Mental Health is a Family Affair
Pay attention if you note the following in a child or adolescent:
Do you know the warning signs that may indicate emotional or mental health concerns in children and adolescents?
Troubled by Feeling
- Excessively sad or tearful
- Angry or irritable
- Worthless or guilty
- Unable to recover from a loss
- Anxious or worried
- Overly concerned about physical appearance
Experiencing Big Changes
- Is doing much worse at school
- Loses interest in things he or she once enjoyed
- Has changes in sleeping or eating habits
- Avoids friends or wants to be alone much of the time
- Feels life is too hard or considers suicide
- Hears voices that can’t be explained
Behaves in Problematic Ways
- Uses alcohol or other drugs
- Constantly violates boundaries
- Eats larges amounts of food and then throws up
- Abuses laxatives to avoid gaining weight
- Diets and exercises obsessively despite being thin
- Is reckless in ways that could cause harm or death
- Involved in multiple fights
Trust Your Gut
The bottom line is YOU know your child better than anyone! If you think there is a problem, trust your instincts. It’s very important to seek help as soon as possible. You can talk with your pediatrician or family doctor. You will be glad you did!
Maine Statewide Crisis Line
If you are concerned about safety or if you or anyone you know are in need of crisis support call: 1-888-568-1112.
Downloads for Parents and Caregivers
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Download Worksheets Just for Kids
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