Event to raise awareness on Children's Mental Health Day

As chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at KU School of Medicine-Wichita, Russell Scheffer wants the public to understand that most psychiatric problems begin before people become adults.

And that the problems are treatable.

That is part of the message behind Children's Mental Health Day, which the school is hosting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Sedgwick County Park, 6501 W. 21st St.

"The goals of the event are to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health and promote the importance of positive mental health to a child's healthy development," the school said in a statement.

The Wichita event is part of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day.

The event will include information booths on community resources dealing with children's mental health and family issues. The activities also will feature games, including moonwalks, a dunk tank, caricatures and face painting.

Scheffer said the event is "not just for children who have mental problems, psychiatric problems." It's also for families to enjoy a nice day outside.

It's for families to realize that there a variety of services to help them, and for them "to get out and celebrate that there is hope," Scheffer said.

Although the event is free, donations will be accepted. Proceeds will go to underwrite the event, start more education programs, support research and expand clinical services for children through the school.

For more information about the event, call 293-3806.