Special Week To Include Run/Walk Announcements

Tri-County Mental Health Services will observe national children’s Mental Health Week May 5-11 with several events and activities, including formal announcement of the second annual Heart and Sole 5k Run/Walk. The focus of this week is to raise awareness, reduce stigma and bring the community together to improve the lives of children and families. Green ribbons will be displayed to raise public awareness regarding children’s mental health and to represent new life and new beginnings. Jamie Wehmeyer, Tri-County Director of Assessment and Youth CPRP Services, said the often-overlooked need for children’s mental health care affects many Northland residents. Even more than other mental health areas, a child’s relationship with others is a key focus. “Our children’s services are vital to help families stabilize and learn how to manage a mental health diagnosis,” Wehmeyer explained. “We don’t just work with the young people. We work with parents and guardians, other siblings, grandparents…really whoever is a part of the child’s support system we try to include in treatment. It’s really a family concept—a team concept.” Tri-County children’s programs include psychiatric care, individual and family therapy, case management and day treatment. Lori Wheelhouse, Child and Youth Services Manager, also leads the organization of the Heart and Sole run/walk, which raised more than $2,000 in its first year for the Tri-County Holiday assistance program, a monthly children’s art contest and other services for families and youth. The 2013 run/walk will be Oct. 5 at Happy Rock Park. If you are interested in participating in or supporting this fun event you can gather more information at www.tri-countyheartandsole5k.org. In 1991, a group of Missouri parents decided raising awareness for children’s mental health was critical and a coalition of parents, professionals and others created Children’s Mental Health Awareness week. For more information on Tri-County and its services, call (816) 468-0400 or visit www.tri-countymhs.org.

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