May 1 – 7, 2016, marks the annual celebration of Children’s Mental Health Matters! Campaign Week. In Reach, Inc., has joined the Children’s Mental Health Matters! Campaign - a collaboration of the Mental Health Association of Maryland (MHAMD) and the Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) with support from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Behavioral Health Administration - to celebrate!
The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health. According to Harvard University’s Center of the Developing Child, the foundation for positive mental health begins taking shape in the earliest years. Experiences in the first 3 years of life, from relationships with parents, caregivers, and teachers can significantly impact a child’s developing brain. Negative experiences during critical developmental years can have lifelong implications such as hindering a child’s capacity for learning and ability to relate to others. Many costly problems, ranging from the failure to complete high school to incarceration, could be dramatically reduced if attention were paid to improving children’s environments of relationships and experiences early in life.
Each year, the network of nearly 250 partners and schools throughout the state celebrates Children’s Mental Health Matters! with over a week of events, workshops, media, outreach and other awareness raising activities. National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week is geared toward raising awareness to the issues and causes integral to the children's mental health field in each of the communities across the country.
To raise awareness and create dialogue about emotions and mental wellness among students, families, and educators, In Reach will host a family movie night at partner William Paca Elementary School in Landover, Maryland where it will screen the Disney film Inside Out. Students in In Reach's program at Kenmoor Middle School will view the movie and complete the Walk in My Shoes activity for the 4th Annual Anti-Stigma Art Project.
For more information and resources for addressing children’s mental health, visit http://www.ChildrensMentalHealthMatters.org