Washington, DC—Today on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health announces the top winners of the virtual Scavenger Hunt competition in seven public and public charter schools to raise awareness of the importance of paying attention to the mental wellness of children and youth. The schools with the most student participation are:
First Place: Hart Middle School
Second Place: Langdon Education Campus
Third Place: E.L. Haynes PCS
In addition, participating students are eligible to win an Apple iPad, a $100 or $50 Target Gift card by random drawings.
On the virtual Scavenger Hunt, students got tips on how to cope with every day issues that could affect their mental health such as pressure to do well in school, a bad relationship, money worries, or bullying at school and where to go for help.
Seven public and public charter schools participated in the week long competition. They are:
Columbia Heights Educational Campus
E.L. Haynes PCS
Friendship Woodridge Elementary and Middle
Hart Middle School
Langdon Education Campus
McKinley Technology High School
National Collegiate Preparatory Public Charter School
Most children and youth will cope well with the support of families, friends and other adults. However, some children who suffer a personal loss or have a traumatic experience may be at greater risk for severe reactions. The Department of Behavioral offers community based mental health services proven to make a difference in a child’s functioning in school, at home, and in the community.
Studies show that half of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14, but there are often years before people seek treatment. Early identification can lead to timely treatment. The Department of Behavioral Health conducts universal screening of children in Pre-K to 2nd grades in 35 public schools. Mental health clinicians located in 53 public and public charter schools hold prevention, anti-bullying and other mental wellness activities, and treat as needed with parental consent.
The Department operates a children’s clinic with same day, walk in service for children up to six years old. Also, 24/7 emergency mobile crisis teams will travel to the home or school to treat a child in crisis. For more information, talk to a mental health counselor on the Access Helpline at 1-888-793-4357 or go to www.dbh.dc.gov and click on Children, Youth and Family Services.
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day was started in 2006 by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and other national organizations to raise awareness of effective programs for children’s mental health needs.