News Releases and Media Advisories

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Activities Planned Across the State; SAMHSA presents a live webcast townhall to encourage more trauma-informed care

For Immediate Release

May 3, 2018

For more information contact:
Angela de Rocha
Director of Communications
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

TOPEKA – More than 1,100 communities nationwide, including seven in Kansas, are planning local Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day activities and events for May 10, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will hold a live webcast town hall discussion on how to encourage systems that serve children to provide more trauma-informed care.

In Kansas, children’s mental health events are being held in Pittsburg, Augusta, Hutchinson, Dodge City, Garden City, Ulysses and Scott City. The events include free mental health screens, open houses, art projects, fitness walks, yoga sessions, face painting, drumming and emotional skills training. These events are being conducted by Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services’ (KDADS) partner community mental health centers, Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Healthcare/Paces Kids Program in Kansas City, Crawford County Mental Health in Pittsburg, South Central Mental Health Counseling in Augusta, Compass Behavioral Health in Dodge City, Garden City, Ulysses and Scott City, and Horizons Mental Health Center in Hutchinson.

For more information regarding events planned throughout the state, please contact KDADS Children’s Program Manager Gary Henault at 785-296-8840.

Last month Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., signed a Governor’s Proclamation recognizing May 10 as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Kansas.

Earlier this year KDADS was awarded a four-year, $9.5 million federal SAMHSA grant to create a “System of Care” to provide Kansas children with better access to mental health services.

“We are working with community partners to improve the lives of children and their families, and especially children with severe emotional disturbance,” KDADS Secretary Tim Keck said. “KDADS is committed to bringing about better behavioral health outcomes for this vulnerable population.”

KDADS is collaborating on this project with four community mental health centers in Kansas and with the Center for Behavioral Health Initiatives (CBHI) at Wichita State University’s Community Engagement Institute.

The event, “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma,” will be held at The George Washington University’s Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre in Washington, D.C. You can watch this event live at 6 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursday, May 10, at this link:

During this webcast, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II will present a SAMHSA Special Recognition Award to Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), in honor of the trauma-informed work being done in tribal nations across the country.