SPRINGFIELD — Mental Health Recovery Board of Clark, Greene & Madison Counties (MHRB) is raising awareness this month of the importance of children’s mental health.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is observed annually on May 7 to help build understanding of the significant role mental health plays in overall child growth and development.
“Especially during a crisis like COVID-19, families might not fully be aware of the impact mental health plays in child wellness. This month is a good reminder for parents and families to check in on their children’s mental health,” said Greta Mayer, CEO of MHRB. “There are a number of ways to promote resiliency at home and connect children with their friends, such as: setting up virtual playdates, hosting a virtual movie night, setting up or participating in a socially distant neighborhood scavenger hunt, or even mailing letters to a pen pal.”
MHRB assists children, youth, and young adults at risk of mental health issues or substance use disorders in Clark, Greene, and Madison counties by connecting them to the support they need to meet their goals at home, at school, and in the community.
Immediate help is available for children, families, and other individuals experiencing mental health crises:
• Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services’ COVID-19 Careline: 1-800-720-9616 .
• Ohio Crisis Text Line: Text “4HOPE” to 741-741.
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8245).
• Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990, or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 for English or “Hablanos” to 66746 for Spanish, Deaf/Hard of Hearing TTY 1-800-846-8517.
Parents, community members, and partners can learn more about the ways mental health impacts children and how to adopt positive mental health practices at home through these national resources:
• National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (NFFCMH).
• USDA’s WIC Works Resource System page on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.
• Centers for Disease Control’s page on Children’s Mental Health.
Children, youth, and young adults can participate in their own mental health awareness activities, too. Various youth-oriented organizations are hosting digital events, activities, and more to engage the entire family. Interested persons can explore or register an event through the NFFCMH website at www.ffcmh.org.
“COVID-19 presents a number of additional challenges to maintaining mental health wellness for every member of the family, but it’s important to remember that resources are more widely available than ever before,” Mayer said. “We want our communities to know that we are here to connect them to the help they need.”
For more information about mental health and substance use resources in Clark, Greene and Madison counties, visit the MHRB website at www.mhrb.org.