Children’s Friend and Family Services (Children’s Friend), which provides mental health services for over 3,000 families throughout Essex County and Merrimack Valley, will honor National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week May 1 – 7, 2016. “Children’s Friend will proudly support National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week at its Salem, Lynn, Gloucester and Lawrence sites. This year’s theme “Healthy Families, Resilient Children – Mental Health is a Family Affair” embodies the mission of Children’s Friend, which has provided the support and resources to families to promote the well-being of children and build strong families for over 179 years,” says Carla M. Saccone, Children’s Friend President and CEO. Our team of employees coaches families and collaborates on shared plans to reach their goals and celebrate successes big and small.
National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health yearly event, geared toward raising awareness of the issues and causes integral to the mental health and well-being of children. This event takes place on the first full week in May.
Children’s Friend has planned the following roster of events to support National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week:
Salem: The Salem Site will be providing materials about childhood mental health as well as about its services to the Salem and Peabody Public Libraries and staff and families visiting Aspire Developmental Services’ Site in Salem to display during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. At the Peabody Public Library on Saturday May 7, from 10-2, Children’s Friend will be providing an informational table with one of its child and family therapists present to host activities with kids, and distribute tip sheets and fun activities to try at home for the parents. These activities are based on the Positive Parenting Strategies found in our Triple P program and could be a help to any family seeking ideas for strengthening their connection with their children and their confidence in behavioral interventions.
Lynn: The Lynn Site is dedicating the monthly System of Care meeting in May to raise awareness about mental health. There will be a panel of a youth and parents speaking about their journey with mental health and what helped them along the way. Staff and youth served by the Lynn Site will be attending and some will participate in the annual Express Yourself performance on May 26th at the Wang Theatre.
Gloucester: In effort to raise awareness for Children’s Mental Health Day on May 5th, The CFFS Gloucester site will be wearing green “Children’s Mental Health Matters” Ribbons as well as handing out ribbons in the waiting room. Gloucester staff will be doing outreach in the community, such as a partnership meeting at Pathways for Children, to discuss Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, which is now offered and has immediate openings at the Gloucester Site.
Lawrence: The Lawrence Site is participating in a statewide campaign to Burst the Stigma of Mental Illness. There will be events in the community with Burst the Stigma water balloons and volunteers will burst a green water balloon in a symbolic gesture to eradicate the stigma. This is part of a statewide campaign, which you can learn more about and also view some of the Burst the Stigma videos at Speakingofhope.org.
Children’s Friend and Family Services has been helping children, their families, and in turn their communities by providing compassionate and innovative counseling, children’s behavioral health services, mentoring, and parenting services since its founding as the Salem Seamen’s Orphans’ Society in 1837. Programs include Outpatient Therapy, In-Home Therapy, Therapeutic Mentoring, Intensive Care Coordination, and Family Support and Training. Children’s Friend works with children and their family members on issues like anxiety, depression, stress, loss, bullying, and adjustment to life’s challenging events.
If you or someone you know might benefit from our services, please visit our website at www.childrensfriend.net