National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week May 4 - 10, 2014


* Create awareness surrounding positive mental health practicesand supports. Actively work to reduce     stigma, awareness of mentalhealth needs and promote wellness programs.

* Contact your local, state and federal legislators to requestfunding for early intervention and prevention programs, enactinganti-bullying legislation and promoting the "system of care" approach.

* Encourage culturally and linguistically competent supports andservices.

* One in five young people have one or more mental, emotional, orbehavioral challenges. One in ten youth have challenges that are severeenough to impair how they function at home, school, or in the community.

* Despite high rates of mental illness in children, 4 out of 5children ages 6 to 17 who have experienced symptoms do not receive anyhelp. The majority of those who do not receive needed mental healthservices are minority children. For example, 88% of Latino childrenhave unmet mental health needs. In addition, Latino children are lesslikely than others to be identified by a primary care physician ashaving a mental disorder.

* One-half of all lifetime cases of psychological challenges beginby age 14, and three-quarters begin by age 24. In addition, 80% ofpeople who experience multiple issues with mental health and substanceabuse report onset before the age of 20.

* Suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents andyoung adults. Children experiencing symptoms of psychologicalchallenges, particularly depression, are at a higher risk for suicide.An estimated 90% of children who complete suicide have a diagnosablemental illness.

* Unmet mental health needs may complicate daily activities andeducation for youth. Almost 25% of adolescents who required mentalhealth assistance reported having problems at school. Over 50% ofstudents who experience psychological challenges, ages 14 and older,drop out of high school-the highest dropout rate of any disabilitygroup.

* Early detection and intervention strategies for mental healthissues improve children's resilience and ability to succeed in life.According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health,preschoolers at high risk for mental health problems showed lessoppositional behavior, less aggressive behavior, and were less likely torequire special education services 3 years after enrolling in acomprehensive, school-based mental health program.