May is Mental Health Awareness month and the theme is Back to Basics. Orion employees wore green on Monday, May 9 to show their support and help to spread awareness for this important event. Currently, one in five people suffer from mental illness. Mental illness effects everyone no matter their race, ethnicity, age, income, etc. and unfortunately mental illness and support is still highly stigmatized in marginalized communities. This month also highlights National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week which shines a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child’s mental health and reinforces that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development.
Please check out the resources below for more ways to help and support mental health awareness:
• DIY Tools for Mental Health – Mental Health America
This resource offers apps, worksheets, and other tools to improve your mental health.
• Mental Health Topics – Child Mind
Boost your mental health literacy with Child Mind Institute’s Topics and Parenting Guides, focusing on ADHD, Anxiety, Behavior Problems, Depression, Diagnosis Eating Disorders, Suicide, Healthy Development.
• Healthy Minds Thriving Kids – Child Mind
A series of free, evidence-based video and print resources that caregivers and educators can use to teach kids critical mental health and coping skills. The project was created from an innovative partnership between the state of California and the Child Mind Institute.
• “Meet Little Monster” Coloring & Activity Book -NAMI
To help foster dialogue between children and the safe adults in their lives, as well as provide children a tool for helping to express and explore their feelings in a fun, creative and empowering way, available for download at no-cost in both English and Spanish.
• How Teachers Can Empower Students Who Are Experiencing Trauma – Edutopia
This quick read explains, “While we cannot solve problems in a student’s life, we can give them back their power and ensure that they consistently feel seen and heard within the walls of our classroom in order to give them space to process and communicate their emotions in safer, more productive ways… One of the easiest and most powerful tools that you have to make a student feel seen and heard is your language.”
• Activities Guide: Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence – Harvard Center on the Developing Child
Executive function and self-regulation (EF/SR) skills provide critical supports for learning and development, and while we aren’t born with these skills, we are born with the potential to develop them through interactions and practice. This 16-page guide, describes a variety of activities and games that represent age-appropriate ways for adults to support and strengthen various components of EF/SR in children.
• LGBTQ+ Resources for School Mental Health Providers and School Personnel – Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity
Use the resources to stay up to date with the most accurate and affirming language and approaches to supporting LGBTQ+ clients.
• Implicit Bias Module Series – Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
A free video series from leading experts on implicit bias. Dig in to better understand how implicit bias plays into academic achievement, school discipline, and other topics.
• A Trauma-Informed Resource for Strengthening Family-School Partnerships – NCTSN
Helps schools assess what level of partnering currently exists within their school community, areas that require enhancement, and strategies for implementing these enhancements. This tool is for administrators and staff to drive further conversation about family-school partnerships. It builds on the NCTSN Trauma-Informed Schools Framework and is aligned with SAMHSA’s 6 Principles of Trauma-Informed Care.