2017 Awareness Day Final Report 2017_ADayFinalReport | Page 2

The Texas System of Care partnered with local schools for Awareness Day 2017 to host “Flight2Freedom,” a paper butterfly release in support of anti-discrimination activities among youth. Awareness Day 2017: Then and now The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) more than a decade ago to shine a national spotlight on children’s mental health and reinforce that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. For Awareness Day 2017, SAMHSA explored the benefits of integrating behavioral health and primary care to address the needs of children, youth, and young adults. Our theme, “Partnering 2 Partnering for Help and Hope for Help and Hope,” represents the importance of behavioral health and primary care practitioners working with youth and families to strengthen mental, physical, social, and emotional health. SAMHSA hosted its Washington, DC, Awareness Day 2017 event on May 4 at The George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium. The event featured three interactive panel discussions and videos highlighting evidenced-based, fully integrated behavioral/primary care community-level programs. Panel discussions explored the value of addressing a child’s whole health; strategies for improving communication between health care providers, youth, and families to better address physical and behavioral health needs; and the unique needs of youth with chronic health conditions. The conversation among panelists—which included primary care practitioners, mental health experts, family, and youth leaders—provided a unique opportunity for experts to share best practices for collaboration and service delivery.