National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day | Quality Start

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

It is never too early to build good habits, find support, or address questions. It is also essential for parents and providers to take care of their own needs and well-being! We’ve pulled together events and online opportunities available to help you understand and navigate the needs of your family or classroom.

What is Infant Mental Health

An excellent article from the NAEYC explores what mental health means for young children in the home and in the classroom.  Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) is centered on the ability of a child between the ages of zero to five to form strong attachments to adults and peers, understand and convey emotions, and explore and learn from their environments.

IECMH helps adults understand:

  • How circumstances affect babies’ and toddlers’ social and emotional well-being
  •  Indicators in very young children’s behavior that let us know they are struggling
  •  Supports and interventions that protect babies’ and toddlers’ mental health during stressful times and that restore their social and emotional well-being

History Of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day was first observed in the United States in the early 2000s, initiated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This day was established to highlight the need for comprehensive, culturally competent mental health services for children and to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health. The observance has grown in significance and now forms a key part of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month each May. The day is marked by events, workshops, and media campaigns across the country to educate the public about the mental health needs of children and adolescents, emphasizing early diagnosis and treatment. Over the years, it has catalyzed national and local discussions on the subject, leading to policy enhancements and increased support for mental health programs targeting the youth. This day has become a cornerstone in the ongoing effort to improve public understanding and provide inclusive mental health care for all children.

Why National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Is Important

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day plays a critical role in highlighting the unique mental health needs of children and the impact of mental health on their overall development and well-being. This day is important for several reasons:

 Early Identification and Intervention

It emphasizes the importance of early identification and intervention for mental health issues in children. Early detection can lead to better outcomes, as children receive the support and treatment they need to thrive mentally, emotionally, and socially.

 Education and Awareness

The day serves as an educational platform that dispels myths and reduces stigma associated with mental health conditions. It promotes awareness among parents, educators, and healthcare professionals, ensuring they are better equipped to support children’s mental health needs.

 Advocacy and Support

It advocates for comprehensive mental health services that are accessible to all children and adolescents. The day helps in rallying community and governmental support for mental health programs, funding, and research.

 Holistic Development

Acknowledging the importance of mental health is crucial for the holistic development of children. This day underscores that mental health is an essential component of a child’s overall health and is fundamental to their ability to learn, develop healthy relationships, and lead a productive life.

 Community and Connection

 National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day fosters a sense of community and connection among families, caregivers, and mental health professionals. It encourages people to share experiences and resources, creating a supportive network that benefits children and adolescents facing mental health challenges.

Practices for home and classroom

  • Focus on joy. Do something that brings smiles and laughter. Endorphins are an effective counter to stress.
  • Do a wellness check. Connect with coworkers or friends and honestly share how you’re really feeling.
  • Practice graciousness. Most everyone is feeling the strain and struggles of the last year, extend patience and kindness as possible.
  • It is always ok to ask for help. What is your mental health plan for yourself, family, and those in your program? Identify a personal and professional support system.

Read the full article “Rocking and Rolling. Caring for the Mental Health of Infants and Toddlers” on the NAEYC website.

More Information and Support

Help Me Grow Inland Empire connects parents and caregivers to screening and early intervention services to help with developmental delays. They also offer resources families need to help their children grow up safe and healthy.

Connect IE is a searchable database of available resources like food, supplies, rent help and more. You can enter the term “mental health” into the search box along with your zip code for services near you.

National Resources

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Child Mind Institute


Scroll to Top