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Mayoral Proclamation

Children's Mental Health Awareness Day Toolkit

Mayor Tom Barrett proclaimed Thursday, May 7th, 2020 as Children's Mental Health Awareness Day in the City of Milwaukee. Download the PDF to get the official proclamation. Thank you to Tom Barrett and those who helped make this possible Shivangini Gupta, the Office of Children's Mental Health (Linda Hall, Andrea Turtenwald, and Melissa Murphy), Dea Wright (Office of Early Childhood Initiatives), Nick Ramos (Mayor's office), and of course Mayor Tom Barrett.

Below is the original text of the proclamation sent to the Mayor's office on April 28, 2020.

WHEREAS; addressing the complex mental health needs of children, youth and families is fundamental to the future of Wisconsin; and

WHEREAS; one in five children in Wisconsin have a diagnosed mental health condition; and

WHEREAS; the first years of a child’s life are the period of the most rapid brain development and lay the foundation for all future learning; and

WHEREAS; healthy brains are built through positive interactions, early identification and effective intervention of developmental delays, and support for families; and

WHEREAS; high quality early care and education can help ameliorate the effects of poverty, detect and remediate delays, identify and help prevent sources of toxic stress, and lead to positive outcomes for individual children, helping them be better prepared for school and more likely to succeed in life; and

WHEREAS; the stigma surrounding mental illness and the shortage of mental health professionals create barriers to accessing mental health treatment; and

WHEREAS; excluding children from early care and education through suspension and expulsion has a negative and disproportionate impact on the very kids it was advocated to support and such exclusion can be prevented; and

WHEREAS; each business, school, government agency, healthcare provider, organization and citizen shares the burden of mental health problems and has a responsibility to promote mental wellness and support prevention efforts; and

WHEREAS; it is appropriate that a day should be set apart each year to renew our commitment to supporting and prioritizing children’s mental health and well-being of our children; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Tom Barrett, Mayor of the City of Milwaukee, do hereby proclaim May 7, 2020 as


Throughout the City of Milwaukee, I commit this observance to all of our citizens.  I call upon the citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools in Milwaukee to commit to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health from an early age. I also call upon a commitment to increasing awareness and understanding of appropriate and accessible services for all children with mental health conditions, including infant and early childhood mental health consultation with our early care and education system.