Last week, the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH) honored Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week in several forms. Students and mental health professionals promoted awareness of how mental health looks different for everyone.
The OCMH kicked off the week with the Wisconsin Youth Visual Art Gallery, showcasing visual and performing arts pieces on youth mental health. From poetry to paintings, more than 20 Wisconsin youth had art displayed in this interactive event. Five youth artists appeared live to share the inspiration for their art and the benefits of art in their mental health journey. All of the art submissions can be viewed on the OCMH website through the month of May.
In a panel discussion, Wisconsin teens talked about how mental health looks for them. The conversation focused on taking care of oneself and provided tools from Dinner Table Resilience. The discussion was intended for a teen audience but also resonates with adult caregivers. Watch the full 75-minute conversation on the OCMH Facebook Page.
The Voices Of Wisconsin Students: Learning, Coping, And Building Resilience During COVID-19 Report was presented during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week as well. Key findings for high school focus groups across Wisconsin conclude:
Students have heightened expectations of their teachers
Students have limited awareness of mental health resources
Students view stigma, skepticism, and concerns about confidentiality as barriers to accessing mental health and wellness resources
Despite challenges, students have developed new coping skills and ways to be resilient
Students have a new appreciation for school and family amid the pandemic
Findings and an overview of the study can be found on the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service website.
To reinforce the message that mental health looks different for everyone, posters were created to be displayed in community spaces and schools. Download, print, and share the free posters to reduce stigma and build mental health literacy among Wisconsin youth.