May is designated nationally as Mental Health Awareness Month.
According to Dr. Dana Milakovic, Pennsylvania’s Office for Safe Schools, “Numerous partners are joining the movement in Pennsylvania to raise awareness around trauma and mental health. Pennsylvania businesses, organizations, associations, agencies, corporations, municipalities, and advocacy groups are helping build a unified, impactful, and consistent campaign throughout Pennsylvania for the month of May.”
There are two connectors for improving mental health resources and opportunities across Pennsylvania. Resilient PA serves as the grassroots connector for local trauma-informed coalitions and serves as a communications vehicle for communities. HEAL PA is composed of leading experts who are creating resources and sharing knowledge in the field with each other.
For May 2022, HEAL PA has created two documents to help schools. The May 2022 PA Toolkit provides information for spreading the word about the importance of trauma informed care with sample social media information and ways in which to emphasize May as Mental Health Awareness in your learning space. The PA Trauma Campaign Calendar is a day-by-day calendar of professional development opportunities, free of charge, that specifically address trauma-informed practices. The links to each Zoom meeting are included in this calendar.
Nationwide, more states are emphasizing the need for trauma-informed and healing-centered policies and practices to promote healthy relationships and resiliency. #WeHealUS is a nation-wide grassroots campaign in which Pennsylvania Department of Education shares information and resources. This website is updated throughout the year and has several links to information and opportunities to build and strengthen promotive and preventive activities as well as to improve responses to the mental health needs of your learning community members.