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Mental Health Month and Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Positive Mental Health Messaging

As part of the mental health observances in May, many national organizations join together to raise awareness and build understanding of the significant role mental health plays in overall health and wellness and how vital positive mental health is to a child's development and everyone's well-being

While diagnosing and treating mental health disorders is outside of WIC's scope, it’s important for WIC staff to know how, and be able, to help connect children and families with appropriate resources for mental health issues.   

How WIC Can Help

In addition to connecting participants with appropriate resources, providing nutrition education and WIC food packages are also important. As noted in the WIC Guidance for Screening and Referring Women with or at Risk for Depression, appetite changes can be a distinguishing feature of depression and the combination of nutrition education and access to nutritious foods may lessen the effects of these changes

WIC Works features a number of Nutrition Education and Health and Wellness resources, including depression screening tools and recipes featured in the WIC Meals of the Month series, to assist WIC staff in the provision of nutrition services. 

Resources for Families  

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) public messages offer handouts and videos to support organizations' efforts to educate the public. Other SAMHSA resources include: 

SAMHSA also has National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day resources, including archived webcasts, such as the 2019 videos What are Systems of Care? and Suicide Prevention in Tribal Communities (find videos by scrolling down the list). 

CDC offers Children’s Mental Health materials to help parents and other caregivers recognize the many challenges young people face and support their efforts to ensure well-being. Resources include:  

  • Interactive Web Tools (also available in Spanish) - tools to share with parents and other caregivers that promote emotional well-being and resilience for children and teens 

  • Helping Children Cope - a list of mental health-related behavior changes parents can watch for, and ways to be supportive    

The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality has two Spanish language brochures, Depression and Anxiety During and After Pregnancy, one for moms and the other for fathers, partners, families, and friends. 

Additional Mental Health Resources 


Resources for Individuals in Need of Assistance (emergent or otherwise) 

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifelineprovides 24/7 free and confidential support via phone or text for people in distress. This shorter phone number makes it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services. There is also a web chatavailable 24/7

Prevention and crisis resources, including posters and a magnet (available in Spanish), wallet cards, and safety plan pads, are available for professionals to download or order. 


Updated: May 2023