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Initiative supports Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

MAYVILLE — As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the week of May 2-8 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Mental Health Awareness month has been around since its inception in 1949, but it wasn’t until 1991 when the importance of raising mental health awareness and reducing stigma surrounding children’s mental health became an important focus, resulting in the actual celebration of awareness and advocacy in 2004 designating the first full week of May annually as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

The National Federation of Families has declared the theme of this year’s recognition as “Flip the Script.” The thought behind the theme is that community members are responsible for addressing the mental health needs of its children and youth. It is important to set an example on how to treat ourselves and take care of our mental health as well as how we treat others facing mental health challenges.

“After the past uniquely challenging year, we are hearing about our mental health more than ever,” said Rachel Ludwig, Tapestry Resilience Initiative program director. “This is an opportunity to embrace the topic and to change the way we think about mental health. Mental health is on a continuum of wellness to illness. It is not static. Mental health is impacted by our environment; by our supports and our connections. Over the past year, children and youth’s mental health has been impacted greatly as they do not have the perspective of a wider world view or larger sense of time. I hope this recognition month serves as a prompt to have positive and caring conversations about mental health.”

The Tapestry Resilience Initiative was created through a federal system of care grant to assist Chautauqua County to work as a community of care for children and youth with emotional and behavioral challenges and their families. A system of care is a network of programs and services that creates a framework for support that encourages and supports providers to partner to develop an accessible, responsive, appropriate and effective delivery system.

On May 7, 2021, the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Health is asking the public to wear green on National Wear Green Day for Mental Health. Green is the color of mental health that represents hope, strength, support and encouragement. County residents can visit the county Department of Mental Hygiene Facebook page or the Chautauqua Tapestry Facebook page and post pictures of people wearing green.

In addition to the Facebook page, visit the county Mental Health Department’s Instagram page @MentalHygieneCHQ or the Tapestry Instagram page @TapestryCHQ where county officials will share local and national mental health resources.

For more information about Chautauqua Tapestry, call 753-4507.

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