Arkansas – The Arkansas Social Emotional Learning task force held a celebration for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness day.
Around 5.8 million children in the US experience anxiety and 2.7 million battle with depression, according to the CDC. Because of that, this event was to help educate, provide resources, and allow a safe environment for children to express what they need from parents and educators.
“We came together as women who are understanding the need for the children’s mental health and the families that are also cultivating our children and so we got together to talk about how can we bring and heighten awareness for social-emotional learning here in Arkansas,” Melanie Battles, Scholars for the Soul and Educational Solutions, said.
This celebration featured workshops, performances, and a town hall Q and A with mental health experts and local government representatives. The event concluded with a panel discussion, allowing those in attendance to share experiences from each of their perspectives and offer solutions for protecting the children of Arkansas and their mental well-being. “Mental health for youth is so important and critical because they are at a developmental stage and when we learn to address them on that social-emotional learning it actually affects them in the areas of academics and the way that they show up in the class room so mental health is important because that is the foundation that allows them to thrive in other areas of life,”Drekkia Writes, Seven of Arts Educational Consultant, said.
Last month Governor Asa Hutchinson signed an official proclamation stating that May 7th is Arkansas’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness day. The proclamation also states that May will be Arkansas’s Mental Health Awareness month. “If we are recognizing the need to prioritize our mental health as adults we need to look at ways that the communities and schools are impacting our children and not even just communities and schools but even the parents,” Shundrea Murphy-Washington, Murphy-Washington Consulting, said.
According to the organizers, there will be events like this annually to make sure children’s mental health is no longer overlooked in our community.
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