CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and a local organization offers more than 60 free wellness events for kids and teens.

"We need to make these children know that they are loved and they matter,” said Catherine Shooter, who is organizing an event called the Shine Guide.

She's gathered more than 60 small businesses and nonprofits to host free events for kids and teens, promoting mental health and wellness throughout the month of May.

"I have just been completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that all of these community partners have shown,” said Shooter. "It includes everything from nature play activities to kung fu, yoga, arts and crafts, music and so much more.”

According to the University of Virginia Health System, 44 percent of teens report feeling sad or hopeless, and pediatric mental health has been declared a national emergency.

"Kids in our community are really loved and cared about and I hope that this guide shows kids, teens and parents that if you're feeling a little bit down, it's okay to feel that way but also know that there are so many people out there that love and care about you,” Shooter explained.

She says the high turnout of event hosts gives her hope and shows how much the community cares.

"They have stepped up and said children's mental health is really important to us,” said Shooter.

For more information on the upcoming events, click here.