Mental Health Awareness Month

Caring for the Head and Heart: Mental Health Matters During Annual Awareness Month
Posted on 05/01/2020
Mental Health Annual Awareness Month

May is designated as Mental Health Awareness and Trauma-Informed Care Month, an opportunity to highlight the importance of positive emotional well-being and its impact on a person’s quality of life.

The School District of Palm Beach County provides mental health support services to students, given that mental health and school success are closely linked. Untreated mental health challenges can create significant barriers to academic, social, emotional, and career success.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), half of all lifetime mental conditions begin by age 14, making it essential that schools and communities take a proactive stance in promoting student mental health awareness through support and early intervention. The National Institute of Mental Health collected these sobering statistics about youth mental health:

• 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 has, or will have a serious mental illness.

• 11% of youth have a mood disorder.

• 10% of youth have a behavior or conduct disorder.

• 8% of youth have an anxiety disorder.

With these realities in mind, District schools staff highly trained and skilled professionals to support student mental health, including school counselors, school psychologists, and school behavioral health professionals. With the transition to distance learning in the last half of the 2019-2020 school year, these professionals are available to help students virtually.

• Parents can contact their child’s school counselor, school behavioral health professional, or classroom teacher for assistance.

• The Student Mental Health Helpline is available at 561-432-6389, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

211 is a local community helpline and crisis hotline that provides suicide prevention, crisis intervention, information, assessment, and referral to community services for people of all ages.

The School District is also collaborating with community stakeholders in the "Get Your Green On" campaign, to promote awareness of mental health, educate and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, and encourage action on mental health issues.

The community is encouraged to wear green on Thursday, May 21 as part of the campaign. This signals a collective effort to create visible support and foster safe spaces to talk openly about behavioral health and trauma. For more information, visit www.GetYourGreenOn.org.

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