Superintendent’s Memo #112-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 27, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  May is Mental Health Awareness Month; May 9 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

The Virginia Department of Education is encouraging all administrators, teachers, and student support services professionals to join with us in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month in May.  We especially encourage participation in Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on Wednesday, May 9, 2012. School personnel are aware of the importance of good physical and mental health for effective learning.

School nurses, school psychologists, school counselors and school social workers are in an ideal position to assist school leadership and staff in understanding the protective and risk factors related to good mental health. Creating the safest and friendliest school environment possible, promoting child resilience, ensuring a well-ordered and functioning school crisis team, and highlighting the importance of good health and physical education practices are all ways that schools can act proactively toward promoting mental health.

Questions regarding mental health services in schools at the state level can be directed to Dr. Wayne Barry, via e-mail at, or via telephone at (804)692-0396.