National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day was May 4, to emphasize that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development.

The national focus in 2017 emphasizes the value of primary care and behavioral health integration to care for children, youth and young adults with mental and/or substance abuse disorders.

The 2017 national theme is "Partnering for Help and Hope." Allwell Behavioral Health Services (formerly Six County and Thompkins Treatment, Inc.) together with Medical Associates of Cambridge have been "advancing health" in a collaborative, integrative approach since July 2015 with "expertise, compassion, and respect."

To highlight this integrative approach, a mother of one child agreed to share her experience:

"No one wants to think 'There is something wrong with my child.' As a parent of a boy with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) I'm no different. I fought myself for so long. I spent years watching his behaviors increase thinking 'Maybe I'm to blame. Maybe I've done something wrong.' I finally broke down and spoke to his family physician. Dr. Mark Goggin listened to what I had to say. Knowing that I really didn't want to medicate my son, he suggested counseling with Rainy. I was excited because I was so scared medication was the only option and I had heard so many horror stories about kids being 'zombified' because of it. Speaking to her helped him immediately. She helped him come up with some ideas to help him focus himself. She also helped me to decide to try the medication to further help him. She coordinated with Dr. Goggin to help decide what was best for him to try. I would never have believed a year ago the difference this has made in our lives. My little boy is able to focus on tasks but he's still my active little boy. Together they definitely improved his quality of life."

Patients of Medical Associates of Cambridge can request on-site services by Allwell Behavioral Health Services providers with their primary care practitioner or calling their office at 740-439-3515. If you are not a patient of Medical Associates but would like to receive behavioral health services for anxiety, depression or other behavioral health issues, please call our Central Intake Scheduling at 1-855-231-0502; the John Glenn Highway office at 740-439-4428 or the Wheeling Avenue office at 740-432-2377 to schedule an appointment.