Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

The arts therapies in Arts in Medicine is teaming up with UF Psychiatry, UF Psychology and the Eating Disorder Recovery Center to recognize Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 9, 2013.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) the US Department of Health & Human Services, the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Awareness, and the American Art Therapy Association, among others, have partnered together in a national effort to raise awareness about the impact mental health can have on a child’s healthy development.

Relevent to UF&Shands is the impact medical treatment can have on a child’s mental health. A publication initiated by the National Child Trauma Stress Network (NCSTN) identified that 80% of pediatric patients report traumatic stress following illness, injury, hospitalization or painful medical procedure. SAMHSA recommends that the sooner a patient is treated for any emotional distress, the better they will be able to comply with medical treatment, heal physically, and go on to lead a happy, healthy life.

During the week of May 6-12, Shands will be hosting a social media campaign to raise awareness about children’s mental health. There will be a feature story on the UF&Shands website about a patient who benefited from the range of mental health services Shands has to offer.

Additionally, the UF&Shands participants in Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day will have tables set-up in the atrium from 11am-2pm on Thursday May 9th. Passers-by will be able to access educational information about children’s mental health in a medical setting. Healthcare workers will be able to learn about referral resources in the hospital for children’s mental health care, and there will be an art therapy project for any UF&Shands community members to participate in. The project will be made into an installation piece that will be displayed for mental health awareness at a later date.

To learn more about how children and adolescents can be resilient with the help of family, friends, and providers visit samhsa.gove/children.