Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

May 13, 2010

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May 13, 2010

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day observed

By B.L. Azure

There were several door prize drawings at Awareness Day including a couple of bicycles at the Awareness Day. (B.L. Azure photo)
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)
Family orientated activities were the name of the game. (B.L. Azure photo)

The bottom line is to show how children with 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 photo)
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.

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