In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and how to access services locally, the Delaware Children’s Department is celebrating Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week May 5 to 11 with a series of events and fun activities.
The week begins with visits to early child care providers to incorporate a curriculum on emotions and feelings. On Tuesday May 7, Sen. Ernesto Lopez, R-Lewes, will join staff from the department’s Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services at the Coolsprings Head Start Program in Milton for the program called Glad, Sad, Silly, Mad…I Have Feelings Too.
On Wednesday, May 8, PBHS staff will visit the Telemon Head Start in Dover to conduct the program and Thursday, May 9, Children’s Department Secretary Jennifer Ranji will join the children at Beverly’s Helping Hand in Wilmington. The special guests will engage children in the 3- and 4-year-old classrooms in a discussion on feelings by playing an interactive game; reading from a book titled “Lots of Feelings;” and observing a musical performance by the children about feelings.
May 9 also marks Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and to celebrate, PBHS will partner with Rita’s Water Ice for the 7th Annual Get the Scoop on Mental Health campaign at participating locations. Between 6 and 8 p.m., PBHS staff will provide information on children’s behavioral health, and Rita’s will provide coupons for a free or reduced cost scoop of water ice.
The national theme for this year’s Awareness Week is Out of the Shadows: Exposing Stigma. The goal is to bring the issue of children’s mental health into everyday conversation to improve the health of communities, state and nation.
Participating Rita’s Water Ice locations for the May 9 Get the Scoop on Mental Health Day in eastern Sussex County include Midway Galleria on Coastal Highway near Lewes and just off the boardwalk in Bethany Beach.
In addition to this week’s activities, PBHS staff will help the Wilmington Blue Rocks Go Green for Children’s Mental Health Sunday, May 19. For this fun family day at the ballpark, everyone is encouraged to wear green - the color representing this cause - and enjoy the game as the Blue Rocks take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Frawley Stadium. For more information about this special game day with the Blue Rocks, contact Stefani Rash at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bluerocks.com
The Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance problems, or have been adjudicated delinquent by the courts, as well as prevention services targeted toward all youth. For more information, go to www.kids.delaware.gov.