Please join us in a national dialogue about the importance of children's mental health
in an effort to foster acceptance and end prejudice and discrimination.
Accept. Advocate. Act.
Support the National Federation of Families. Together, we can end bias and discrimination and help build a healthy nation that celebrates children's strengths.
Last year, the National Federation of Families took an important step to advance social justice for families: launching the first national Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week.
As an organization focused on families with children who experience mental health and/or substance use across the lifespan, we believe acceptance more directly combats discrimination, prejudice, and subconscious bias. Awareness isn’t enough – but Acceptance demands we advocate and act to change attitudes, behaviors, and systems. Acceptance is social justice.
That’s why our 2023 campaign theme for this year is “Accept. Advocate. Act.” We want our children across the lifespan accepted – and that means systemic change in how children’s mental health is viewed.
This year, Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week returns for the second year May 7th – 13th, 2023. Join us to Accept, Advocate, and Act for children’s mental health.
One positive impact of a pandemic that has challenged everyone's mental health is that, now more than ever, people are talking about it and know it's important. So, it's time to move beyond the term awareness. This significant shift to "acceptance" speaks more directly to our goal for the campaign - to eliminate prejudice and discrimination that individuals with a mental illness diagnosis or symptoms experience.
We believe the term acceptance more directly combats prejudice. Mental health exists on a spectrum and almost everyone experiences challenges at some point in their life. Recognizing that our mental health is just as important as our physical health and accepting individuals who struggle for a period - or for a lifetime - is critical to reducing the fear, worry, blame, and shame that families and their loved ones experience - and increases the likelihood that those who are in need will seek the support and treatment they deserve.
In December of 2021, the Surgeon General issued an advisory highlighting the urgent need to address our nation's youth mental health crisis. The advisory underscores the importance of our new campaign message - that it's time to move beyond awareness and into acceptance - for multiple reasons.
In 2022, we re-defined the CMHA campaign!
Previously, Children's Mental Health Awareness, the "A" now stands for Acceptance.
Watch the recording of our CMHAW Youth Panel that took place on Tuesday, May 24th (below), check out our latest infographics to learn more, and explore our campaign resources below to find social media tools, educational materials for children and youth, activities for families, our advocacy calendar and much more!