Saginaw MAX System of Care Celebrates Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created the “Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health” public awareness effort in 1994 to increase awareness around children’s mental health. This campaign includes a day of celebration every year on May 9, which is recognized across the nation. The theme chosen by the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2013 is “Out of the Shadows: Exposing Stigma.”

“Youth living with mental health challenges not only face the same daily struggles as their peers, but also the negative labels and comments that accompany the stigma surrounding mental health,” explains Will Hillman, Youth Involvement Coordinator at Saginaw MAX System of Care. “Because of the stigma, this population of youth experiences a high volume of bullying which can lead to low self-esteem and increased suicidal tendencies. It’s become an epidemic we can’t ignore and we owe it to our youth to expose mental health stigma and replace it with knowledge, understanding, and acceptance.”

On Thursday, May 9, youth, family and system partner representatives from Saginaw MAX System of Care and Youth M.O.V.E. Saginaw will gather on the steps of City Hall, located at 1315 S. Washington Ave., at 4:30 p.m. Mayor Greg Branch and a representative from the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners will present the youth and families with proclamations declaring May 9 a day of mental health awareness for youth in Saginaw County. Immediately following the ceremony, the group will march to Holland Avenue Bridge where they will release green balloons as a symbol of hope and pride. The march will then continue along Michigan Avenue and will conclude at Ojibwa Island.

Saginaw MAX System of Care and Youth M.O.V.E. Saginaw invite all community members, youth, families, businesses and organizations to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 9 at the proclamation ceremony, balloon release and march. All are welcome to attend and participate at no cost, and wearing green in support of mental health awareness is encouraged!

Other activities that Saginaw MAX System of Care will be participating in throughout May to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month include the Cinco de Mayo Parade and Celebration in downtown Saginaw on May 4, and the Walk a Mile in My Shoes Rally at the Capitol Building in Lansing on May 8. For more information on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and how to participate, or other mental health awareness activities throughout the month of May, please contact Melissa Lee at 989-272-7209 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .