Children’s Mental Health Awareness
May was first declared as Mental Health Awareness Month in 1949. In 2006, Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day was chosen as a special day during this month to focus on the mental health needs of children. Since 2006, May has been a time to acknowledge the importance of children's mental health, show that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth, promote positive youth development, resiliency, and recovery, along with the transformation of mental health service delivery for youth, adolescents, and their families.
Each year, National Children’s Mental Health Awareness seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development.
It can be challenging for some families to get mental health care for their children. Nearly 1 in 5 children have a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder, such as anxiety or depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive behavior disorder, and Tourette syndrome. Children with these disorders benefit from early diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, only about 20% of children with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders receive care from a specialized mental health care provider.
Some families cannot find mental health care because of the lack of providers in their area. Some families may have to travel long distances or be placed on long waiting lists to receive care. Cost, insurance coverage, and the time and effort involved make it harder for parents to get mental health care for their child.
Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) is one approach that can improve access to mental health services for children and their families. Partnerships between primary medical care practices and mental health care specialists can make mental health services more accessible for some families.
Crawford County Memorial Hospital offers two mental health counselors who specialize in working with children and families. Both Jim Greenwood and Jill Wonder are Licensed Mental Health Counselors and Registered Play Therapists. Play Therapy is used to help children actualize feelings and concepts that children can’t otherwise communicate through words.
Appointments are available with Jim Greenwood and Jill Wonder on a limited basis by calling 712-265-2700, or by requesting an appointment online at ccmhia.com.