COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ.)
Monday marks the start of Children's Mental Health Week.
Health experts say one in six children between the ages of 6 to 17 experience a mental health disorder.
In an effort to bring attention to children's mental health, a group of community organizations will hold a brief ceremony on Wednesday from 12:15 p.m.-12:50 p.m. at Shelter Fountains. Fourth ward Councilman Nick Foster will read the Children's Mental Health Week proclamation.
If there is rain on Wednesday, the event will be held at the Area Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash Street.
The gathering will show appreciation for behavioral health agencies while celebrating the strength of families, children, and youth.
Anyone attending the week-long event is encouraged to wear green throughout the week. People attending the event will also ring bells for one minute as part of a national observance Ring4Hope. This aims to highlight the progress made in research, treatment and acceptance of mental health conditions.
Data shows between 2008 -20, suicide deaths among people ages 12 and older increased by 16%. Back in 2016, almost 20% of children in the U.S. between 2-8 years old had a diagnosed mental, behavioral or developmental disorder, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Parents looking to get help for their children locally can visit Burrell Behavioral Health, KVC Missouri, or Pathway Community Behavioral in Columbia.
Individuals can also dial 9-8-8 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Network.