The Montgomery County Department of Behavioral Health joined more than 1,100 communities across the country in celebrating the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day to highlight the importance of positive mental health from birth.
The Montgomery County Department of Behavioral Health has offered children with mental health and substance abuse challenges in Montgomery County the services and support they need to thrive at home, at school, and in the community.
Research has shown that more than one in four youth experience a traumatic event by the age of 16.
Traumatic events range from a one-time incident such as the death of a loved one to exposure to ongoing experiences such as bullying, child abuse, violence, or economic hardships within families.
To celebrate awareness locally, Montgomery County Behavioral Health, along with community partners, hosted Aevidum — derived from the Latin root “vid” (meaning life), an expression of assurance to another person meaning “I’ve got your back,” — on May 14 at Montgomery County Community College.
Aevidum is a depression and suicide education awareness initiative where informed adults empower students to know the warning signs of depression and understand that it is a treatable illness.
Students use their gifts and talents to spread the message of hope and advocate for other students. Aevidum’s message was delivered through interactive displays, high-energy assemblies, and community events. More than 200 participants from throughout Montgomery County were involved, including schools, parents, students, and provider agencies.
In addition to Aevidum, Montgomery County Behavioral Health is hosting its 8th annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day at the Elmwood Park Zoo on June 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Festivities will include participation from more than 25 provider agencies that will offer information on supportive services for youth, raffle prizes, food and face-painting, and free admission to the zoo for the first 300 people.
These events focus attention on the importance of providing comprehensive, community-based mental health supports and services to enhance resilience and nurture social-emotional skills in children and youth from birth.