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SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Launch Event

Tuesday, May 6, 1:45 to 2:45 p.m.ChildrensMentalHealth2014

Join the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for this special general session to launch National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day). Since 2005 Awareness Day has brought national attention to how children, youth, and young adults with behavioral health challenges can demonstrate remarkable resilience when given appropriate services and support. Each year more than 1,100 communities and 136 national organizations, including Federal programs, participate in this celebration. You, too, can be part of this nationwide movement to focus attention on the importance of children’s mental health from birth.

What’s Ahead?

The national launch event will spotlight the experiences of young adults with behavioral health challenges who have demonstrated resilience with the help of peer support and now serve as peer support leaders themselves.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will also present its Special Recognition Award to Awareness Day 2014 Honorary Chairperson Chiara de Blasio, who will share her own story of resilience in dealing with depression and substance use. Her parents—New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray—will share comments on their family’s experiences.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other senior Federal officials will also speak about young adults in transition.

Why Attend?

The Awareness Day general session will engage behavioral health providers and others in a conversation about the value of peer support networks addressing the unique needs of young adults with behavioral health challenges. The session will feature four young adult leaders from around the country who will share their experiences helping peers navigate systems related to education, employment, housing, and health care access.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to speak directly with Chiara de Blasio and the four young adult leaders at the conference workshop, “What Really Works for Young Adults: A Candid Conversation,” from 4 to 5 p.m.

Building Momentum

This year’s national launch event will build on the tremendous efforts—and results—of past Awareness Day events, which include:

  • SAMHSA’s first-ever Tweet-up, which engaged SAMHSA grantees, Federal agencies, and child- and family-serving organizations in a conversation about young adult mental health;
  • SAMHSA’s exceptional social media engagement in collaboration with singer/ songwriter, actress, and youth advocate Demi Lovato, 2013 Awareness Day Honorary Chairperson, who shared messages of resilience and social connectedness through her networks.

Admission to the Awareness Day national launch event and workshop is free and open to all registered National Council Conference attendees.

For those not registered for the National Council Conference, a free “pass” is available to attend the Awareness Day national launch event and the workshop only. To register, click HERE, create a user profile, and select the “National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day” session option.

For more information about Awareness Day, visit or email

For more information about the National Council for Behavioral Health conference visit

©2013 National Council for Behavioral Health. All Rights Reserved.