Governor Newsom Proclaims Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation declaring May 1-7, 2023, as “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.” The text of the proclamation and a copy can be found below:


The unprecedented challenges of the past few years have put a spotlight on the mental health crisis facing our nation, and its heavy toll on the youngest among us – especially in underserved and marginalized communities. Children and youth are struggling with anxiety, depression and trauma, and far too many of them are facing these issues alone. In California, we take the mental health and well-being of our children seriously, and we’re taking transformative action to ensure that struggling kids have the support they need to grow and thrive.  The statistics speak for themselves: mental health issues are the leading cause of hospitalization for children under 18 in California, and a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that nearly 3 in 5 U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 – a nearly 60% increase in the last decade. Even our youngest are not immune to this crisis, with 8% to 10% of children under the age of 5 experiencing clinically significant and impairing mental health problems nationally. The weight of this crisis is not carried equally – children and youth of color, those living in low-income communities, LGBTQ+ youth, and other vulnerable populations are experiencing higher rates of stress and social isolation. California is advancing decisive action and unprecedented investments to address these issues. Through the Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health – with the $4.7 billion Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative at its core – and other historic investments in partnership with the Legislature, we are creating a comprehensive and coordinated system of support that ensures there is no wrong door for help. Working to address immediate needs while advancing long-term transformations in how we serve our kids, California is creating an ongoing and sustainable focus on our kids’ mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.  We are committed to ensuring that all our state’s children, youth, and families have access to quality, culturally competent behavioral health services when, where, and in the way they need them. We are partnering with clinical and behavioral health providers, early childhood providers, schools, higher education institutions, primary care physicians, managed care plans, community-based organizations, social service agencies, parks, and many others to provide better services to our children and youth, finding and engaging them where they are with the care and resources they need. During Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week – the first week of Mental Health Awareness Month – we recognize the anxiety, isolation, and trauma our children and youth have weathered, as well as the incredible resilience they have shown. It’s critical that we listen to our young people and tap into their passion and creativity in reimagining our mental health system – built for and with the youth and families it serves.  California has made tremendous strides in this space, and our work with partners across the board continues in order to deliver the mental health system that our kids deserve: one that is equitable and accessible, focuses on prevention and early intervention, empowers families and communities, and is free of stigma. I invite everyone to learn about the resources and services available to support children’s mental health at Working together, we can build a brighter, healthier future for California’s children and youth. NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim May 1-7, 2023, as “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.”  IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 30th day of April 2023.

GAVIN NEWSOMGovernor of California

ATTEST:SHIRLEY N. WEBER, Ph.D.Secretary of State