May 2020
Celebrating Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and Day
The 16th Annual National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week (CMHAW) is here. This is an important time to stay focused on the mental health of our children and youth. It's also a time to practice and model resilience, positivity and strong family voice. Join us in celebrating CMHAW this week by participating in the many virtual awareness events and activities being hosted by our chapters and organizations across the country.
Awareness Events Go Virtual
NFFCMH encourages its chapters, partners, families, youth and all mental health advocates to participate in the annual awareness campaign . We hear that many organizations will be hosting online events, Facebook Live sessions, Twitter Chats, etc. We have adapted our national map so that virtual events can now be listed. We invite you to submit any awareness events taking place in person OR online to be included on the national map.
Join Us #EveryDayInMay
#EveryDayInMay will continue this year! Each day during the month of May we will post content on our Facebook page you can share to help spread awareness in your state and community. Posts will include infographics, awareness activities, messages of hope and more. We encourage you to repost these on your social media channels using the CMHAW hashtags:  #ChildrensMentalHealthMatters, #CMHAW2020, #PerfectVisionIn20/20.
Activity Book
We're excited to share our new Children's Mental Health Awareness activity book - just for kids. This fun resource is a great way to get kids talking about their feelings and caring for their mental health, to engage them in Children's Mental Health Awareness week and to make mental health part of the conversation at home with the whole family.
Learn more about Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and
take advantage of these tools to help plan and promote your CMHAW events!
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Our focus remains on families and our chapters. We've continued to update the COVID-19 resource sections of our website in an effort to provide needed support during the pandemic. We hope you find them helpful.
Crisis Resources
We have collected information to help families in crisis connect easily to supports and services in the following areas of need:
  • Mental Health
  • Crisis and/or Suicide Risk
  • Substance Use
  • Child Abuse or Neglect
  • Domestic/Family Violence
  • Access to Food
  • Parenting
Chapter Resources
Our dedicated COVID-19 resource page for family-run organizations includes tools to assist with sustainability and the continued support of parents and families. Find information about delivering telehealth services, essential information about relief bills, and other important topics that address organizational needs there.
Parent Resources
To support parents and caregivers at home, we have:

  1. Gathered key resources and information on our dedicated COVID-19 parent resources page
  2. Compiled hundreds of ideas, activities, virtual experiences and educational resources on our Facebook page dedicated to home resources
  3. Added content to our Pinterest Boards, including new sections to specifically address the pandemic and home schooling
2020 Conference Call for Presentations
The call for presentation proposals is currently open for our 31st Annual Conference taking place in Chicago, IL on November 12th - 14th . We welcome submissions from professionals, mental health advocates, family members, and youth who support family voice in children’s mental health and know how much it matters. While the future is difficult to predict right now, we remain optimistic that we will be able to convene in November. You can help us
by submitting your presentation proposals.
The National Federation is looking for  90 minute  and a select number of 60 minute and
3 hour intensive workshop proposals. We are seeking workshop proposals that will provide information on the following content areas:

  • Collaboration and Integration of Services Across Multiple Systems
  • Engaging Youth and Young Adults
  • Evidence Based Practices
  • Family and Caregiver Support 
  • Parent Peer Support Today 
  • Providing Services and Outreach in the Digital Age
  • Organizational Development and Sustainability
  • Research to Practice
  • Strategies for Reducing Bias and Stigma
  • Supports for Special Populations 
  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Substance Use and Mental Health
Legislation and Advocacy
News and Updates
Following our Legislative and Advocacy page on Facebook is the best way to get the latest news. You will also find our recent updates as well as tools and resources that can assist in your efforts to represent the voice of children, youth and families on our Legislative and Advocacy web pages .
Look for our next Legislative and Advocacy update to arrive soon. It will highlight important information for parents, youth, families and organizations related to the recently passed stimulus package and other notable bills and legislation. Not signed up for our Legislative and Advocacy updates yet? Click here to subscribe to the list.

Submit your state's advocacy and legislative news and updates to our
Legislative Liaison, Michelle Covington, at .
Webinars and Events
Our state chapter in Mississippi, Families as Allies, has numerous webinars and activities taking place in May including trainings for providers, a Facebook Live session and a Virtual Support Group for parents on Children's Mental Health Awareness Day .
Our state chapter in Nevada, Nevada PEP, is offering a number of webinars covering a variety of topics in May that support parents, caregivers, families and their children as well as the professionals who support them. Click the button below to view their calendar, see titles and descriptions and to register for this month's webinars.
Title: Improving Access to Care by Using Creative Support
to Address Families Waiting for Services
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 27th at 2:00 p.m. ET

Families across the country struggle with long waitlists to access care for their children. The wait for services can vary from 2 to 13 weeks or more depending on the community that a family resides in and their state policy. The waiting period between identifying needed services and accessing the identified services can be a challenging period for families because the need for services cannot be put on hold until services are available. Families begin to look for alternative support in multiple avenues including the internet and social media. Increased access of the internet and social media has increased the accessibility to the state and local family-run organizations. As the state and local family-run organizations become more visible, families are reaching out to these organizations for help during this critical waiting period. This puts the family-run organizations in the nucleus of supporting families in crises. While families wait for identified formal services and supports such as clinical therapeutic supports, in home behavioral services, respite care, family peer support and the availability of psychiatric residential beds, state and local family organizations need to create plans that can support families effectively.

The webinar will bring together the Executive Director of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and the Executive Directors of two state family-run organizations, NC Families United and Parent/Professional Advocacy League to share their perspectives at the national and state level. The presenters will share ideas and tools utilized in various states across the nation to help alleviate parental stress while waiting for formalized services. The webinar will focus on creative measures and tools state and local family support organizations and agencies can apply. Examples of various tools used in North Carolina and Massachusetts will be highlighted. The PowerPoint webinar will include lecture, interactive problem solving, questions and skills building.
Resources and Opportunities
From Child Trends
Child Trends has gathered guidance, recommendations, and resources provided by child trauma experts to assist parents and caregivers with supporting the emotional wellbeing of their children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit their page linked here .
From Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research
Transitions ACR recently hosted a webinar titled "Are You a College Student with a Mental Health Condition? Managing in the Wake of COVID-19: Strategies and Tools to Finish Your Semester" . You can the view the recoding webinar here and download the slides here .
From PsychHub
PsychHub has published a COVID-19 Resource Hub to help individuals address their mental health needs during the pandemic.
Find their resources here .