Washington, DC – The DC Department of Mental Health awarded Kindles to sixteen 5th grade students at the Woodridge campus of Friendship Public Charter School who won a poster contest to show examples of mental wellness. The poster contest was held in connection with Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 9th and included students from the 5th through the 8th grades.
“The students created amazing posters,” said Steve Baron, Director of the Department of Mental Health. “It’s important to start at an early age to promote good mental health and to combat stigma that could prevent a child who needs help from getting help.”
The Kindles will start a new elibrary at the School. Friendship Woodridge Vice Principal Felicia Owo praised the students for their ability to work together to erase stigma and encourage their peers to discuss mental health.
On Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Friendship Woodridge students released hundreds of green balloons to represent releasing stigma. Other activities included story telling with Pre-kindergarten through 1st grades, workshops on how to manage different situations and emotions with 2nd through 4th grades, and a discussion with the 5th through 8th grade classes on cyber-bullying and its negative effect.
Teacher Philip Naylor and the 5th grade class accepted the Kindles from members of the DMH Child and Family Services Division. The Department of Mental Health offers a wide range of prevention and treatment services for children in community based clinics across the District. Mobile emergency crisis teams also provide on-site treatment for children experiencing a psychiatric or emotional crisis.
To access mental health services, a District resident can call the Access Helpline at 1-888-793-4357 seven days a week to talk to a mental health counselor or contact a provider directly from the list of certified providers at http://dmh.dc.gov/providers