Maine Awareness Campaign Receives Bronze Award
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign Wins Bronze for
Excellence in Community Communications & Outreach
ORLANDO, FL – G.E.A.R. Parent Network and Youth MOVE Maine accepted the bronze award in the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign category on behalf of collaborative partners Children’s Behavioral Health Services and THRIVE at the Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach recognition ceremony July 26. The awards are sponsored by the federal Substance and Mental Health Services Administration’s Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign.
G.E.A.R. launched Maine’s monthlong award-winning 2011 campaign with its traditional Tailgate Kick-off for families, youth and child-serving health and human services providers in the parking lot of the Office of Child and Family Services. During the first two weeks of May, G.E.A.R.’s Family Advisory Councils for Empowerment Statewide distributed 140 toolkits to mental health agencies and other community-based, child-serving organizations from Caribou to South Portland. The kits contained a total of 35,000 children’s mental health awareness items.
“We asked providers to share the contents with the families they serve,” said Carol Tiernan, G.E.A.R. Director. “The kits contained information on where to go for support groups and workshops, articles and personal stories of hope and resiliency, explanatory cards to hand out when a child is acting up , inspirational magnets, and sunflower seed packets from our conference with Youth MOVE.”
At the annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day celebration at the State Capitol’s Hall of Flags, more than 30 service providers heard seven youth and family members share inspiring stories of resiliency and emotional wellness in the face of challenges ranging from abuse and teen pregnancy, juvenile incarceration and autism to a learning disability and depression. Adults spoke of the difference a family organization can make, as well as the benefits of intergenerational resiliency.
“We’re delighted that our Hall of Flag speaker was part of a larger story that ran during the May campaign detailing our expanding efforts statewide to support youth in Maine,” said Ryun Anderson, Youth MOVE Maine Director. May has been national Mental Health month since 1949.
The final piece of the campaign was the “What Families and Youth Want” conference hosted by G.E.A.R. and Youth MOVE Maine with keynote speaker Stan Davis of Stop Bullying Now. Approximately 180 family members, youth and providers were treated to a full day of workshops and activities.
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G.E.A.R. Parent Network empowers parents of children with emotional and behavioral health needs to effect life decisions based on their family’s individual strengths and needs by providing safe and supportive avenues for: emotional support, problem solving, sharing common experiences, seeking knowledge about community resources and advocacy, identifying the strengths and needs of their child(ren) and families and accessing information and education related to children’s issues.
Youth Move Maine, a state chapter of Youth Move National, supports youth and adults with experience in service systems in building the skills, partnerships, policies and practices essential to making sure all youth are connected, resilient, growing and included in the decisions that impact their lives. For more information, go to: www.youthmovemaine.org
THRIVE trauma-informed trainings and technical assistance help child-serving providers and community organizations transform the way services are delivered to children and youth with serious behavioral health challenges and to their families.