Children’s Mental Health Week is Monday, May 3 Through Sunday, May 9
WENHAM— Town Administrator Anthony Ansaldi and the Board of Selectmen are pleased to announce that the Town of Wenham will recognize the first full week of May as Children’s Mental Health Week.
The Board of Selectmen voted to declare the first full week of May as Children’s Mental Health Week in Wenham. Throughout the week, Wenham Town Hall will be lit green every night from dusk to dawn to raise awareness surrounding children’s mental health needs and the importance of working toward more inclusive communities.
“The future of our nation depends on the health and well-being of our children and their families to come,” said Town Administrator Ansaldi. “The involvement of family members and the support and resources available to those living with mental health needs are essential to achieving positive outcomes. We look forward to our town participating in this week and the awareness it will raise throughout our community.”
The Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) celebrates Children’s Mental Health Week on the first full week of May every year. In Massachusetts, Children’s Mental Health Week is sponsored by the Department of Mental Health and the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP).
This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week theme is “Vision for Health and Happiness.”
Approximately 17% of children and youths ages six through 17 live with a mental condition while 50% of all lifetime instances of mental illness begin before the age of 14. Additionally, many children may not receive the services or resources they need while living with mental health disorders.
Recognizing the early warning signs of mental health needs and obtaining the necessary support, assistance and treatment will give children and youth better opportunities to lead full and productive lives at home, in school and in their communities.
“During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, families may be presented with challenges they’ve never seen before regarding children’s mental health needs which makes highlighting these topics as critical as ever,” said Town Administrator Ansaldi.
How To Get Involved
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, parents are encouraged to:
- Seek help if their child is engaging in unsafe behavior or talks about wanting to hurt themselves or someone else.
- Talk with a child’s teachers, pediatrician and other people in the child’s life who might notice a change in their behaviors or attitude.
- Ask for a referral to a mental health professional if your child is showing any signs of possibly having mental health needs.
- Identify what treatments are suitable for your child ie. therapy, family counseling, medicine, etc.
- Department of Mental Health Tips and Activities for Children
- Children’s Mental Health Network Resources
- Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
- Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Children’s Mental Health page
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, see the Children’s Mental Health page
- National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health COVID-18 Resources
- CNN/Sesame Street Coronavirus Town Hall
PPAL, Parent/Professional Advocacy League is a statewide, grassroots family organization that advocates for improved access to mental health services for children, youth and their families. PPAL’s goals are to support families, nurture parent leaders and work for systems change. PPAL is the only Massachusetts organization whose work focuses solely on the interests of families whose children have mental health needs. Founded in 1991, PPAL continues to work on behalf of children, youth and families as a critical voice shaping policy and practice.