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Sunday, May 7th through Saturday, May 13th is Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week.

Mental Health Acceptance Week 2023

     From as early as 1949, children’s mental health awareness has been in the forefront of the minds of those who desire to eliminate the stigma attached to mental health.  Federations, organizations, and other mental health providers continue to advocate for access to mental wellness for children.  The National Federation of Families (NFF) implemented the green ribbon as their most effective awareness and educational campaign in 2007. 

     The symbolic meaning of the green ribbon represents life and a new start rather than the branding of someone who is insane as was the case in the 1800’s.  The campaign of the NFF is intended to increase the awareness “through positive public health promotion and by initiating dialogue in local, national, and international communities”. 

     Did you notice that line under Acceptance and that the word Awareness had been replaced in the title of this blog?  It was in 2022 that the NFF changed the ‘A” from Awareness to Acceptance because ‘acceptance’ best represents NFF’s goal to eradicate bias and discrimination aimed at any person with mental health challenges.  The stigma can be removed when society better embraces the fact that even children need mental health checkups and face mental health challenges.

     A child’s balanced well-being is based upon how they feel emotionally, socially, and psychologically.  Teachers, caregivers, counselors, and others are instrumental in a child’s support and path toward mental wellness.  Helping a child to realize optimal mental health is a very important part of parenting.  There are some signs to look for.  Any change in behavior such as being withdrawn, showing no empathy, sadness, being overly sensitive, extra quiet, or daydreaming are some outward signs that may alert any person regularly involved with the child that something is going on.  It is then, that the child may be asked “how”, “what”, or other open-ended questions to get a discussion going.  Early intervention is crucial to a child’s wellness so that they may learn healthy coping mechanisms that can be instrumental in handling life’s issues in their future.

Parents:  Have you considered what you will say to or do with your child during the week of Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week?  Why not try to encourage him or her to initiate a discussion about how they are feeling? 

Here are some useful links for Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week that you may peruse for activities, videos, discussion starters, workbooks, and plenty more that you may opt to use for your children and family during this Children’s Mental Health Acceptance week.

Sign up for our mailing list, learn more about Operation Xcel and our programs, enroll your child, volunteer and/or donate.  You are invited to learn more and get involved.

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