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2015 Awareness Week Advocacy Toolkit

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Our theme for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 is Mental Health is Fundamental.  The National Federation encourages everyone, everywhere to use the week of May 3rd -9th, 2015 to educate their communities around children’s mental health, combat stigma, and advocate for increased access to effective mental health services and supports.  Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is a time to highlight positive mental health practices and social development for all children and youth.

Join the National Federation in sending out the following messages:

• Mental health is essential to overall health and well-being.
• Serious emotional and mental health disorders in children and youth are real and treatable.
• Children and youth with mental health challenges and their families deserve access to services and supports that are family driven, youth guided and culturally appropriate.
• Values of acceptance, dignity and social inclusion should be promoted throughout all communities for children, youth and families.
• Family and youth voice is a valued asset in determining appropriate services and interventions.
• End Stigma!

The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (National FFCMH) has organized resources and communication tip sheets for you to use in your efforts to educate local and national representatives, churches, schools and communities.

To help reduce stigma, raise awareness for children’s mental health and support the rights of all children and youth with mental health challenges, we compiled the following tips for your advocacy at the federal, state and local levels:

• Tips on Legislative Meetings (page 2)
• Tips on Proclamations and Resolutions (page 4)
• Informing Faith and Community Leaders (page 6)
• Writing a Letter to the Editor (page 7)
• Writing a Letter to your State and Federal Policymakers (page 9)
• Spread the Word with Social Media (page 12)

Please let us know how you used this toolkit, which items were most useful and which topics you would like to see covered in next year's toolkit.  Send your comments to jspencer@ffcmh.org.