May 6-10 is National Children’s Mental Health Week. May 9, 2013 is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. Both offer an ideal opportunity for Texans to consider how they might contribute to the emotional well-being of children in their home, schools, and communities. National Children's Mental Health Week is observed during National Mental Health Month.
2013 Children’s Creativity Contest
The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) hosted its 2nd annual statewide creativity contest to promote Children’s Mental Health Week. There are three categories: Writing, Poster, and Video, with entries received from K-12 students all around Texas. Click here for more information and to see the winning entries!
2013 Events & Proclamations
- Watch the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day press briefing live on May 7 at 10 a.m. EDT on www.samhsa.gov/children.
- Tune in for the premiere of the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day virtual event on May 7 at 3 p.m. EDT on www.samhsa.gov/children.
- Hand in Hand/Mental Health Connection is launching a public awareness campaign designed to educate the public about trauma in children. The campaign will include billboards, bus ads, movie ads, posters, brochures and first-responder cards designed to drive traffic to a new website on trauma. The site will include causes, symptoms, ways to help, evidence-based and promising practices, local trauma-informed services, links to other sites about trauma, and links to publications about trauma in children. In addition, Tarrant County Commissioners Court will issue a proclamation on May 7 recognizing May 9 as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and encouraging the community to visit the website. See http://www.familieshandinhand.org/ to learn more.
- Texas System of Care will be leading a campaign for Awareness Day that encourages individuals or groups to submit photos posing with a sign that says, “Shine a Light on Children’s Mental Health,” along with their name or the name or their organization. To make the photos more interesting, the system of care is asking participants to pose at a landmark and creatively convey “shine a light” in their photos. Additional Awareness Day plans includesupporting a statewide youth creativity contest. Winning entries will be displayed in the State Capitol building and on the Web. For more information, please visit http://www.txsystemofcare.org/national-childrens-mental-health-awareness-day-2013/
- The Children’s Partnership in Travis County is leading the following proclamations:
- Travis County Commissioners Court resolution, May 7 at 9:00 a.m. (700 Lavaca)
- City of Austin, May 9 at 5 p.m. (Austin City Hall)
Why Green Ribbons?
|| In the 1800s the color green was used to brand people who were labeled "insane". The children's mental health community decided to continue using the color green, but with a completely different focus. Green signifies new life, new growth, and new beginnings. Therefore, green ribbons are worn to raise public awareness to better the lives of children and youth with serious emotional disorders. Please show your support of these children and their families!
Texas Information and Resources
- Children's Coordinated Funding Committee Report
The Children’s Coordinated Funding Committee is comprised of program and finance representatives from nine child-serving state agencies and was charged by the Mental Health Transformation Working Group (TWG) to examine the issue of fragmented funding and service coordination for children with severe emotional disturbance (SED). This specific population of children was selected due to the high costs shared among agencies and programs, and because there is great potential to better coordinate funds across agencies to improve outcomes and reduce costs that could then be redirected to early intervention and prevention efforts. Read the committee's 2011 report, Coordinated Funding for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbance: Current Funding, Services and Recommendations (PDF).
- Youth Suicide Prevention Project Funded through a grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this program involves suicide prevention activities within several communities in Texas with higher suicide rates than the national average. The project provides training for key community leaders and health professionals in recognizing warning signs of suicide and referring youth to appropriate help, and evaluates strategies to provide screening for suicide risk and follow-up for youth seen in medical settings. Supported by the Youth Suicide Prevention Project and a grant from the Department of State Health Services, Mental Health America of Texas has posted the “Coming Together to Care” Suicide Prevention Toolkit, which can be found at http://www.texassuicideprevention.org/pdf/TexasSuicidePrevention-2012Toolkit_8-31.pdf (PDF).
- YES Waiver- Youth Empowerment Services The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is implementing a 1915(c) Medicaid Waiver entitled Youth Empowerment Services (YES) (www.dshs.state.tx.us/mhsa/yes). The YES Waiver allows more flexibility in the funding of intensive community-based services and supports for eligible youth ages 3-18 with serious emotional disturbances and their families. The goals of the YES waiver include:
- Provide a more complete continuum of community-based services and supports for children with SED
- Prevent or reduce inpatient psychiatric admissions for children with SED
- Prevent entry and recidivism into the foster care system
- Reduce out-of-home placements by all child-serving agencies
- Improve the clinical and functional outcomes of youth and their families.
- Texas Children's Mental Health Forum
A non-profit organization convened by Texans Care for Children (http://texanscareforchildren.org/ )and the Texas Health Institute (http://www.texashealthinstitute.org/ )to bring together families, public agencies, and organizations with a stake in improving children's mental health. Its aim is to create broad-based leadership for children's mental health among diverse groups at both the state and local levels, while advancing a child mental health agenda for Texas.
Facts About Childrens' Mental Health
- Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time. (Department of Health & Human Services)
- An estimated two-thirds of all young people with mental health problems are not getting the help they need. (Department of Health & Human Services)
- Studies indicate that 1 in 5 children and adolescents (20 percent) may have a diagnosable disorder. Estimates of the number of children who have mental disorders range from 7.7 million to 12.8 million. (Department of Health & Human Services)
- Anorexia affects one in every 100 to 200 adolescent girls and a much smaller number of boys. (Department of Health & Human Services)
- Approximately 1% of adolescent girls develop anorexia nervosa. 1 in 10 cases lead to death from starvation, cardiac arrest, or suicide. (National Institute of Mental Health)
- As many as 1 in 10 young people may have an anxiety disorder (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
- Studies suggest that children or adolescents are more likely to have an anxiety disorder if their parents have anxiety disorders (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- 30 percent - 40 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD have relatives with the same type of problem. (Clinical Pediatrics)
- ADHD is the most common psychiatric condition affecting children, estimates in prevalence in childhood range from 5 - 10%. (Clinical Pediatrics)
- As many as 50% of children with ADHD are never diagnosed. (Harvard Mental Health Letter)
Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depression)
- Almost one-third of six to twelve year old children diagnosed with major depression will develop bipolar disorders within a few years. (Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
- Reported rates of bulimia nervosa vary from one to three out of 100 young people. (Department of Health and Human Services)
- As many as 1 in 10 children and adolescents may have conduct disorder. (Department of Health and Human Services)
- Recent studies show that, at any given time, as many as one in every 33 children may have clinical depression. The rate of depression among adolescents may be as high as one in eight. (Department of Health and Human Services)
- Recent studies have shown that greater than 20% of adolescents in the general population have emotional problems and one-third of adolescents attending psychiatry clinics suffer from depression. (The Canadian Journal of CME)
- It is estimates that between 118,700 and 186,600 youths who are involved in the juvenile justice system have at least one mental disorder. (The National Coalition for the Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System)
- According to a 1994 OJJDP study of juveniles' response to health screenings conducted at the admission of juvenile facilities, 73 percent of juveniles reported having mental health problems and 57 percent reported having prior mental health treatment or hospitalization.
- Of the 100,000 teenagers in juvenile detention, estimates indicate that 60 percent have behavioral, mental or emotional problems. (Department of Justice)
- It is thought that anywhere from 15 - 20 % of children with ADHD have a condition known as a "Specific Learning Disability" - and perhaps 50% of children with learning disability have ADHD. (Hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder in Children)
- Schizophrenia is rare in children under 12, but occurs in about three out of every 1,000 adolescents. (Department of Health & Human Services)
Serious Emotional Disturbances
- Serious emotional disturbances affect 1 in every 10 young people at any given time. (Department of Health & Human Services)
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 - 24 year olds (approx 5,000 young people) and the sixth leading cause of death for five - 15 year olds. (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
- The rate of suicide for this age group has nearly tripled since 1960, making it the third leading cause of death in adolescents and the second leading cause of death among college age youth. (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
- More teenagers and young adults died as a result of suicide in 1999 than cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, birth defects, stroke and chronic lung disease combined. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)
- For every older teen and young adult who takes his or her own life, 100-200 of their peers attempts suicide. Between 500,000 and 1 million young people attempt suicide each year. (American Association of Suicidology)
Additional Information & Resources
If you or your child needs help, please contact your pediatrician or physician, your local community mental health center (search by county, city, or zip code at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/mhservices-search/), or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.
List of resources and action guides for schools and families
Connecting to Children’s Mental Health Week via Social Media
- Working to ensure all Texas children and youth have access to high quality mental health care by expanding the system of care approach
- AACAP is the leading national medical association dedicated to treating families affected by childhood and adolescent mental illnesses.