Child Mental Health Awareness

GUARDIAN AD LITEM RAISES AWARENESS OF CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH 

The first week May is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and the Florida Guardian ad Litem program is joining other advocates across the state to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and its role in healthy development from birth.

"Because the Guardian ad Litem Program works with youth who have experienced abuse, abandonment, and neglect, we've seen the long-term effects," said Alexsa Leto, Circuit Director of the Guardian ad Litem program serving the 16th Judicial Circuit in the Florida Keys. "These traumas can harm children’s physical, emotional and social development, putting them at greater risk for suicide and other mental health conditions."

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hosted the first Awareness Day in 2005 to bring national attention to the importance of caring for every child’s mental health. The theme this year is “Suicide Prevention: Strategies That Work.”

The Guardian ad Litem program will host a webcast on suicide prevention strategies, which will be live-streamed on Monday, May 6 from 3 to 6 p.m. at www.hhs.gov/live/index.html.

Resources for suicide prevention are found at www.samhsa.gov/childrens-awareness-day/event/resources-suicide-prevention. To learn more about Guardian ad Litem or to become a volunteer, visit www.monroecounty-fl.gov/guardianadlitem or call 305-292-3485.