Children’s Mental Health Matters

*Image of the author's family's "shoe selfie!" Join us in the fun with posting a shoe selfie to the TxSystemofcare facebook page.

In the 1800s, the color green was used to brand people who were labeled “insane.” The children’s mental health community decided to continue using the color green, but with a completely different focus. Green signifies new life, new growth, and new beginnings. Therefore, we wear green ribbons to raise public awareness, better the lives of children with serious emotional disorders and show our support of the children and their families who live with the daily challenges brought on by mental health issues.

It is often said “it takes a village to raise a child.” This statement holds true in our work of supporting families of children with behavioral health challenges. We want to challenge myths, spread awareness and promote positive mental health and overall health for all of our children.

Serious emotional and mental health disorders in children and youth are real and treatable. It's easy to know your child needs help dealing with a fever or a broken bone, but mental health problems can be harder to identify. The tricky part of parenting is knowing the kinds of behaviors and moods that are usual for the stage of development your child is in, and when your child has gone beyond the norm and needs help.

Children and youth with mental health challenges and their families deserve access to services and supports that are family driven, youth guided and culturally appropriate. Values of acceptance, dignity and social inclusion should be promoted throughout all communities for children, youth and families, as well as, family and youth voice valued as an asset in determining appropriate services and interventions.

This year, I encourage you to “Stand Up and Soar for Children’s Mental Health. Let’s be a part of furthering awareness of the challenges families are facing as they attempt to access appropriate services for their children. Don your green shoes, wear a green ribbon, let Texas know you are dedicated to ensuring changes are continuing to be made on behalf of children and their families who have behavioral health challenges.

To learn more about Via Hope's Family Partner Training and Certification program, click here.

Join us at Standing up and Soar at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 10 at 10am.

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