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Mental health is something everyone should care about. The National Institute of Mental Health states that mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others. Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness—it’s essential to your overall health and quality of life. 

Studies show that between 40% and 85% of “helping professionals” develop vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and/or high rates of traumatic symptoms. (Mathieu, 2012).

It’s essential for child- and family-serving professionals to care for your own mental health while supporting the mental health and well-being of the families with whom you work. When you take care of yourself, your physical and emotional health improves; you become more resilient and can find ways to manage stress in a healthy and positive way. This key message from SAMHSA is also important to share with children and families struggling with their own mental health issues.

The partner resources highlighted in this post can help start conversations in the community, workplace, and with families you serve about the vital role mental health plays in our overall health and well-being. Whether you share these resources, encourage others to seek help, or simply are there for someone when they need it, you instill hope and can help others reach out when they need it most.

See below for all the ways to get involved in Mental Health Awareness Month! Throughout May, CalTrin will share additional resources and professional development opportunities related to mental well-being and child abuse prevention. Join the conversation by following us on LinkedIn, Twitter (@cal_trin), or Facebook (@caltrin).

Mental  Health Awareness Month Resources & Toolkits

By sharing information, resources, stories, and more, we can create a world free of stigma. Get started with the below resources and toolkits from national and state partners!

California Training Institute

Hey, that’s us! CalTrin’s innovative learning model enables child- and family-serving professionals to choose training and educational experiences that work for their schedule, learning style, and career path—all at no cost to learners. During Mental Health Awareness Month and year-round, we invite you to explore our free learning opportunities and curated resource collections related to child, adolescent, parent/caregiver, and provider mental health:


  • Training Archive – Revisit recordings and materials from prior CalTrin trainings:

Note: You will need to log in to your CalTrin account to access the self-paced courses and select archived training materials. You can create a free account here.

Mental Health America

Mental Health America (MHA) proudly launched Mental Health Month in 1949. This year, MHA invites you to Look Around, Look Within as we consider every part of our environment and its effect on our mental health and well-being. This year’s toolkit provides free, practical resources on supporting your mental health, and the health of those in your community, within every part of our natural and built environment. Don’t forget the hashtag #LookWithin!

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Every year during May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Together, they fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support the millions of people in the U.S. affected by mental illness. This year, NAMI is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with the #MoreThanEnough campaign. Learn how you can get involved:

National Institute of Mental Health

During National Mental Health Awareness Month, be a part of the conversation about mental illness and raise awareness about the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) resources related to mental health, including:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) in May to inform people about the vital role mental health plays in our overall health and well-being. SAMHSA’s materials are designed to be shared with your audiences and across your media channels; they are downloadable and shareable, and some of the material is customizable:

California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare

Visit our partner project’s Mental Health topic area to learn about evidence-based programs and interventions, including:

California Department of Public Health

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has partnered with the Office of the Surgeon General to raise awareness about mental health and to remind Californians that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. The CDPH’s Mental Health Awareness resource collection can be used throughout May and year-round to help start meaningful conversations about caring for mental health, reducing stress, supporting loved ones, practicing mindfulness, and more:

Mark Your Calendars! Mental Health Month Awareness Days & Activities


Caring for your mental health is a lifelong commitment. Some days you may feel amazing, while others, you may need a little support. These free and confidential resources are available to help:

  • The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential support for people in distress. Call or text 988. Prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish. Dial 1-800-662-HELP.
  • The Veterans Crisis Line is comprised of caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves. Dial 988, then press 1. Text 838255.
  • SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Dial 1-800-985-5990. Help is available in English and Spanish.
  • Visit SAMHSA’s Find Help and Treatment page for additional resources. Assistance is available in multiple languages


*Last updated January 5, 2024