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Decorated U.S. Olympians Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt will serve as Honorary Chairpersons of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day). The Awareness Day 2017 event takes place Thursday, May 4 at 7 p.m.

Mr. Phelps and Ms. Schmitt will each receive a SAMHSA Special Recognition Award for speaking candidly about their experiences with mental health and working to support youth and young adults with similar experiences.

Through the Michael Phelps Foundation, Phelps has worked on numerous initiatives to support the foundation’s core mission of promoting active and healthy lifestyles for children. Schmitt is passionate about helping youth and young adults with mental health challenges and has spoken about her mental health journey at numerous speaking engagements at foundations and mental health organizations across the country. 

Awareness Day 2017: “Partnering for Help and Hope” will focus on the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth, and young adults with mental health disorders, substance use disorders, or both, as well as those who may experience chronic illness. During this event, SAMHSA will unveil new data about the rates of depression among adolescents who experience chronic illness.

The event will feature a talk show format, with panelists discussing selected questions from viewers around the country. To participate in Awareness Day Live!, watch the live webcast on May 4 at 7 p.m. You can also send your questions to panelists and participate in the national discussion on social media by using the hashtag #HeroesofHope.

Need some social media thought starters to get involved? Here are some prompts to get you and your friends engaged in this important and rewarding national discourse:

  • Tweet your favorite quotes from the panelists using the hashtag #HeroesofHope.
  • Organize a group viewing event and post a photo of your group watching the webcast.
  • Retweet or share positive messages from other viewers and participating organizations.
  • Share a link to behavioral health resources in your community.
  • Tweet questions to the panelists.

SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day shines a national 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.

Learn more about SAMHSA’s Awareness Day 2017 at

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