Green kites will fly Thursday, May 9, over Peck Farm Park in Geneva, as community members and professionals call attention to the issue of children’s mental health.
The free event is open to the public and hosted by the Kane County Health Department along with the AOK Early Childhood Network, Association for Individual Development, Family Service Association of Greater Elgin, the Juvenile Justice Council and TriCity Family Services. It takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Peck Farm Park, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva.
Green — the color associated with mental health awareness — kites will be provided to children and families to “help stigma fly away.”
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain is a featured speaker. Activities will be held at the covered picnic shelter rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, you can find information about cancellation on the Kane County Health Department’s Facebook page.
More than 1,100 communities across the country celebrate Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Nationally, the day shines a spotlight on the importance of caring for every child’s mental health and reinforces that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five children ages 13 to 18 have, or will have a serious mental illness.
“Mental health has a huge impact on whether a child can succeed in school and ultimately in society,” Stacy Zeng said in a news release for the event. “Sadly, there is often a delay of as long as 10 years between when a child’s symptoms begin and when they start treatment. This could be due to lack of knowledge and access, or stigma. Untreated mental illness can lead to devastating consequences for children and families.”
The National Institute for Mental Health reports suicide as the second-leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 to 34.
For more information about the event, contact Anna Czerniak 630-264-7670.
SOURCE: Kane County Health Department news release