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Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

Half of all lifetime mental illness begin by age 14; yet, in any given year, just 20 percent of children get the help they need. Acting early can make the difference now and later in life. The Department of Behavioral Health provides a range of services that include prevention, early identification, and evidence-based treatment practices proven to improve a child’s daily functioning at school, at home or in the community. To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, DBH is hosting activities that support the mental wellness of children and youth and their families.

Healthy Futures Social-Emotional Stories

Young children and families can listen to stories read by the Healthy Futures team. The stories are appropriate for young children and focus on social-emotional learning. Click here

Wellness Wednesdays

Licensed clinicians facilitate a virtual support group for parents and caregivers each Wednesday, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Date:                Topic:

May 5, 2021  - Mental Emotional Reset
May 12, 2021  - Full Body Tune-Up
May 19, 2021  - Planning for Emotional Wellness
May 26, 2021  - Emotional Well-Being: ‘Tips’ from Tucker the Turtle

Click here for English:
Password: WW20

Click here for Spanish:

Mental Health Awareness Discussions

Join us on Instagram live on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. to talk about issues that matter to you and learn strategies to strengthen mental wellness. Visit @DBHRecoversDC IG Live

Date Topic
May 4, 2021  Self-Care  
May 6, 2021  Healing and Self-Love
May 11, 2021  Wellness in Motion
May 13, 2021  Self-Regulation (Managing Big Emotions)
May 18, 2021  Grief and Loss
May 20, 2021  Coping Skills (Filling your Toolbox)   
May 25, 2021  Adapting to a New World
May 27, 2021  The New Normal

Teen Summit

A one-day Teen Summit will be held during the week of May 24-28 in participating schools with school-based clinicians. The Summits will be led by clinicians and students, focus on mental health topics such as identifying mental health concerns and reducing stigma, and provide students with mental health resources for them and their families at their schools and in the community.

Mental Health Awareness Poster Contest

School-based clinicians in twenty-two public schools will engage students to explore their thoughts and feelings about mental health through creating posters. Each school will select three winners who will get gift cards. Posters will be shown on social media.

Stuart Hobson MS                      Ron Brown HS
Friendship Blow Pierce PCS     Wilson HS
Jefferson MS                               DCI
Moten ES                                      Kelly Miller MS
EL Haynes PCS                           Takoma EC
Miner ES                                       SELA PCS
Inspired Teaching PCS              Walker Jones EC
Patterson ES                               Thomas ES
Munde Verde PCS                      Amidon ES            
Two Rivers PCS                          Brown EC
Stanton ES                                  Malcolm X ES

DBH Child, Youth and Family Services

It is estimated that as many as one in five children and adolescents may have a mental health disorder that can be identified and require treatment. Children and adolescents who use alcohol and drugs at an early age are more likely to face problems with substance use as adults. Further, young people suffering from trauma are at a higher risk for drug or alcohol use. Addressing the emotional challenges can foster healing and growth while using substances as a coping mechanism can lead to longer-term health issues.

The Department of Behavioral Health is building a system of care for children, youth and their families that supports prevention and early identification of behavioral health needs and provides community-based treatment and supports that can meet multiple and changing needs. We are guided by the principles that services must be easy to access, culturally and linguistically competent, and family-driven and youth-guided. Through early intervention and treatment, children and youth with emotional and behavioral needs can live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.