Childhood Mental Illness

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day – Peer Support is Crucial

Mental Health 15On May 6, 2014 the national launch of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day: Inspiring Resiliency, Creating Hope will take place in our country’s capitol. The event is expected to draw national attention to the many local events which will be held across the country on May 8, 2014.

At the Washington, D.C. event, the director of Health and Human Services will be joined by the DeBlasio family. Bill DeBlasio is the current mayor of New York City, but it is actually his 19 year old daughter Chiara who will be the official guest of honor. Chiara has spoken publicly about her own struggles against substance abuse and depression. Ms. DeBlasio will be recognized as an example
of hope for other young people dealing with mental health concerns.

One of the highlights of the event will be discussion of the importance of peer support in the face of mental health challenges. Young people with a mental health condition sometimes face obstacles in key areas of life such as housing, education, employment and justice. Having the help of another person of similar age can be encouraging and empowering for the person trying to overcome these hurdles. Chiara DeBlasio will be joined by four additional young people who have exemplified resiliency or who have been able to be a support person for someone else.

The national launch is just the beginning however. Real change will come as young people in communities all across the country participate in local events and discover how they can successfully manage challenges or offer help to others. Join us at Family Guidance in recognizing Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Family Guidance offers assistance every day to those confronted with the realities of mental illness. They also offer help to friends and family members so that they better understand what positive support should look like.