National Children’s Mental
Health Awareness Day observed
There were several door prize drawings at Awareness Day including a
couple of bicycles at the Awareness Day
ST. IGNATIUS — Last Thursday was National
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day throughout America including the
Flathead Indian Reservation.
According to Kim Azure, manager of the CSKT mental
health program, the
Awareness Day is a day for everyone not only
mental health professionals or people affected by mental illness. It is
a day to shine a light on the issue, promote positive youth development
activities and let the public know what resources are available for
youth with mental health issues.
Family orientated activities were the name of the game. (B.L. Azure photo)
The bottom line is to show how children
mental health needs that are met thrive in their communities. To that
end the mental health program, among other things, hosted a dinner and
an evening of activities for the public. Approximately 100 people of
all ages took part in the event held at the tribal community center in
Mission. There were indoor and outdoor games, door prize drawings,
family portraits and a spaghetti dinner.
Awareness Day 2010 focused on increasing basic
awareness of the importance positive mental health has on a child’s
healthy development, with the key message that positive mental health
is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth.
Azure said that is better to treat youth with
mental health issues than wait until later in life - it saves money in
the long run.
The scream run exhausted the young ones as well as put smiles on their faces. (B.L. Azure photos)
“Research in cost-effectiveness on early
interventions show that providing appropriate and effective mental
health services and supports to young children can result in positive
long-term outcomes in areas such as educational attainment, delinquency
and crime, and earnings,” she said.
This year was the fifth anniversary of the event
and each year has had a different focus.