Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

May 5, 2022

10:00am – Noon

Join Voices for Georgia’s Children and the Georgia Parent Support Network (GPSN), in partnership with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) for a special, virtual edition of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day at the Capitol on Thursday, May 5 from 10:00am – 12:00pm. We invite you to join in on the fun with guest speakers, games, and more. Click the button below to register today for this no-cost event!

Register Here!

2021 Event Highlights

The 2021 event was held on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the event was virtual for the second year in a row. If you were unable to join, click the button below to access the recorded webinar. Thank you to all of the partners and sponsors who participated in Children’s Mental Health Day!

Click here to watch the full 2021 virtual event!

“These kids were going through so much and they didn’t feel comfortable talking to their parents or their teachers or most of their friends. Having a peer-to-peer group provides the support they need.”

Young people who share their experiences through peer-to-peer support programs offer experiences and perspectives that can make a difference for youth.

Check out Layla and Thomas’ conversation about the importance of these programs.

“We first learn empathy by being empathized with.”

Supporting the mental health of youth starts at a young age. When little kids have big emotions, we can help guide their healthy development and behaviors.

Want to learn more about infant and childhood mental health, including ways to support and intervene as early as possible and why it is crucial to child development? Tune into that conversation here.

Additional event highlights


  • “As I sat in my car, I began to ask many questions, one being ‘how on Earth did I even get here?” Front and center for this year’s event was Paige Gaines, CEO/Founder of 911 Sane Jane, sharing a powerful testimony of her mental health journey. Paige shares her story from the moment she hit rock bottom to the moment she realized hope and recovery.
  • “The more we’re willing to listen to our peers, the more they’re willing to share with us.” Support comes in many ways. On Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, members of the Youth MOVE program shared some of the best ways they have been supported as they transitioned into adulthood.
  • “It has been OUR resilience over the last year that has helped put mental health front and center in Georgia.” DBHDD Commissioner Judy Fitzgerald emphasized the importance of meeting kids where they are: at school – and shared that the Georgia Apex program, Georgia’s school-based mental health program, has expanded to more than 700 schools across the state. Tune in to hear Commissioner Fitzgerald present some of the investments and programs that DBHDD is implementing to help improve youth mental health.

2020 Event Highlights

The 2020 event was hosted via Zoom platform on Thursday, May 7, 2020. If you were unable to join, click the button below to access the recorded webinar. Thank you to all of the partners and sponsors who participated in Children’s Mental Health Day!

Click here to watch 2020's CMHD Virtual Event!

For Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2020, Voices for Georgia’s Children talked with Dr. Sarah Vinson, one of the country’s leading experts in child and adolescent behavioral health, about how children are coping with the stress of COVID-19, how parents can help, current mental health work being done in Georgia, and more. We learned so much and are sure you will as well! Dr. Vinson is a board certified physician who specializes in adult, child & adolescent, and forensic psychiatry. In addition to providing mental health care services through her private practice, Dr. Vinson is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine, as well as an Adjunct Faculty at Emory University School of Medicine. She has been elected and/or appointed to national and statewide office by her professional peers, serving as the Past President of the Georgia Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Treasurer of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, and appointed by Governor Kemp to the Mental Health Reform Innovation Commission / appointed chair of the child and adolescent subcommittee.

2019 Event Highlights

Dr. Erica Fener Sitkoff, Executive Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children, led the panel discussion on Children’s Mental Health Day at the Capitol

Members of the Interagency Directors Team took part in the conversation,
“Suicide Prevention: Strategies that Work,” including:

          • Erin Harlow-Parker, MS, APRN, PMSCNS-BC, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
          • Layla Fitzgerald, DBHDD Program Manager
          • Ashley Harris, Department of Education, Director of Whole Child Supports and Strategic Partnerships
          • Jessica Donaldson, Project Director TREE House Program & System of Care Coordinator
          • Ana Gaona, DBHDD Youth Peer Specialist Coordinator
          • Sue Smith, GPSN Chief Executive Director

Thank you to all of our partners who participated in Children’s Mental Health Day 2019 and held events that raised awareness of this important issue.

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