County Executive to Make Important Mental Health Proclamations for the Month of May

Submitted by gallagha on Wed, 04/27/2022 - 09:20


County and Community Partners to Recognize the Importance of Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week and Mental Health Awareness Month


JAMESTOWN, N.Y.:-- Chautauqua County Executive Paul M. Wendel, Jr. will be proclaiming the first week in May as Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week. He will also proclaim the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month.


Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene (CCDMH) and its community partners will join a national movement to raise awareness about mental health during these recognized times. Instituted by the National Federation of Families (NFF), Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week began 17 years ago. This year will mark the first with its new name, Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week.

According to the NFF’s website, the change from Awareness to Acceptance recognizes the need for a shift that is more in line with the federation’s mission to eliminate prejudice and discrimination that individuals with mental illness diagnosis or symptoms experience. The NFF cites the following reasons to move beyond awareness and into acceptance:


  • To accept that 1 in 5 youth experiences a mental health challenge;
  • To accept that mental health challenges must be met with understanding and support;
  • To accept that prejudice and discrimination toward individuals who experience mental health challenges creates a barrier to seeking treatment - and it must be eliminated;
  • To accept that our youth are facing serious challenges ahead that need to be addressed; and
  • To accept that the future wellbeing of our country depends on how we support and invest in the next generation.

This year’s Healthy Kids Day event will host the proclamations.  Healthy Kids Day is a free, family event that will include activities, games and information tables to highlight ways our children and youth can be and stay healthy. The annual YMCA event will be held on April 29, 2022 from 6 to 8 p.m. at its 101 East 4th St., Jamestown, N.Y. location. The proclamation will be at 6:15 p.m. and available to see live on Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene’s Facebook page, @mentalhygienechq.


Since 1949 in the United States, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed.  Its first observance was by the National Mental Health Association now known as Mental Health America (MHA). Since that time there has been a continued effort to educate the public about mental health, provide support for those with mental illness, their families and combat stigma surrounding mental health. This year, MHA is encouraging everyone to go “Back to Basics,” and offers a toolkit on their website, mhanational.org, for anyone interested in spreading awareness about mental health.


There are many events happening this month in Chautauqua County to celebrate this important month. You can learn more about them and access information about local supports and other behavioral health resources at https://chqgov.com/mental-hygiene or search @mentalhygienechq to access our social channels. To learn more about Healthy Kids Day, visit ymca.org and to learn more about the National Federation of Families, visit ffchm.org. If you or someone you know is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, call the Chautauqua County 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 1-800-720-0461.



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