The Wenham Board of Selectmen have declared May 3 - 9, 2020 Children's Mental Health Week in Wenham, in collaboration with PPAL, a Parent/Professional Advocacy League through the sponsorship of the Massachusetts Department of Health and Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership. PPAL was developed by families of children with emotional, behavioral and mental health needs, to focus on the needs of their children and families, and every year PPAL celebrates Children's Mental Health Week on the first full week of May. This year's theme is "Vision for Health and Happiness."
We will be lighting up Town Hall at 138 Main Street in green every night from dusk to dawn from Sunday, May 3rd through Saturday, May 9th to help in raising awareness of children's mental health needs and the importance of working towards more inclusive communities together by breaking the stigma.
- 17% of children and youth (ages 6-17) live with a mental health condition and 50% of all lifetime instances of mental illness begin before age 14; and even some children and youth with the most intense needs and some who are insured may not receive services;
- children and youth with mental health needs in elementary, middle and high school are more likely to be bullied, absent, suspended, expelled or fail to graduate; and
- recognizing the early warning signs of mental health needs and obtaining the necessary support, assistance and treatment gives children and youth better opportunities to lead full and productive lives at home, in schools, and in their communities
- the involvement and partnership of family members in the assessment and treatment of children and youth is essential to positive outcomes
- our nation’s future depends on the health and well-being of its families and their children
Because of the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, many families face challenges never seen before, and therefore highlighting the topic of children’s mental health is even more critical at this point in time. Several resources geared toward helping families during the COVID-19 crisis are linked here on our page. We'll also share daily ideas and activities through our Facebook Children's Mental Health Week event page. Follow the Town of Wenham @townofwenhamma on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more.
PPAL, Parent/Professional Advocacy League is a statewide, grassroots family organization that advocates for improved access to mental health services for children, youth and their families. PPAL’s goals are to support families, nurture parent leaders and work for systems change. PPAL is the only Massachusetts organization whose work focuses solely on the interests of families whose children have mental health needs. Founded in 1991, PPAL continues to work on behalf of children, youth and families as a critical voice shaping policy and practice.