May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is more than a signal of spring; it's Mental Health Awareness Month, a crucial time when health care providers, policymakers, communities and individuals across the United States mobilize to increase the understanding of mental illness and provide strategies for attaining better mental health.

Over the years, this month has helped shift public perception, making mental health part of the national dialogue—helping to break the stigma that often accompanies mental health conditions and improve accessibility to mental health resources.

Phoenix Children's is actively expanding and enhancing our behavioral health programs, services and infrastructure to ensure we can deliver the vital support our young people desperately need.

About Mental Health
Awareness Month

What is Mental Health Awareness Month?

Mental Health Awareness Month is dedicated to raising public awareness about mental health challenges and prioritizing mental well-being.

How did Mental Health Awareness Month get started?

In 1949, Mental Health America established Mental Health Awareness Month to highlight the importance of mental wellness and the impact of mental illness.

What color represents Mental Health Awareness Month?

The color green is used to help increase mental health visibility throughout May because it symbolizes hope, strength, support and awareness.

Leading With Care

Arizona children are in the midst of a mental health crisis. To address this urgency, Phoenix Children’s is taking significant strides to expand its behavioral health services and collaborate with community providers to improve patient care. Current initiatives include:

  • Prevention and early intervention:
    • We’ve introduced a 24/7 mental health coverage model in the emergency department to decrease wait times and overcrowding.
    • In 2022, we launched a Suicide Evaluation Pilot Program in which a short set of screening questions were asked of each emergency department patient.
  • Outpatient care:
    • We're expanding the Phoenix Children’s Bridge Clinic, so we can ensure patients have the support they need during the critical transition between hospital discharge and long-term community mental health care.
  • Acute intervention and inpatient care:
    • Plans to build a behavioral health hospital are well underway. The new facility will add 120 more inpatient beds and will allow for more children to be cared for in Arizona.

With your help, we can fully implement these strategies and improve the value and quality of children’s mental health in Arizona.

Mental Health by the Numbers


  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth (aged 6-17) experiences a mental health condition each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health.
  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10-14.
  • 122 million people live in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas for mental health.

In Arizona

  • 6,504 children (aged 0-17) visited a hospital in 2022 due to suicide attempts or ideation. 46 children in that age group died by suicide.
  • In 2021, Arizona’s rate of suicide was 35% higher than the national average (per 100,000 people).

At Phoenix Children’s

  •  Every day, 7+ children visit Phoenix Children’s emergency department because they want to harm themselves or others.
  • 12 is the average age of children seen at Phoenix Children’s for suicide ideation.

Oliver’s Story: The Real Impact of Comprehensive Treatment

Oliver is a brave young child who has faced significant mental health challenges. Through a comprehensive treatment plan at Phoenix Children's, he has made remarkable strides.

“Every step Oliver takes highlights the critical need for accessible, comprehensive mental health services for all children.”

Carla C. Allan, PhD, Hagenah Family Endowed Chair and Division Chief of Psychology. 
Oliver, a brave young boy who has faced mental health challenges, smiles looking left off camera.
Need ?

How to Observe Mental Health Awareness Month

Practice positive mental health and engage in activities to increase awareness:


Take care of your own mental health and encourage others to seek help when needed.


Support your loved ones by offering a listening ear or a supportive shoulder.


Talk about mental health to normalize and reduce stigma. Open conversations can lead to better support for mental health needs and quicker treatment.


Join us in building hope and healing minds: Your support will directly influence the expansion of our services and the health of our community’s children. Give today and help us continue our mission to provide timely and effective mental health care.

A Call for Continued Advocacy

Every conversation, every action and every donation to Phoenix Children's contributes to a child’s mental health.

Let's stand together this May—and every day—to support mental wellness in our community.

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