May 10, 2018 - Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month May 6-12, 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018 is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The theme is “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma.” The focus is on the importance of developing an integrated approach to caring for the mental health needs of children and families who have experienced trauma. Please join Head Start in promoting awareness, by wearing a green ribbon as we partner for hope and healing.
Childhood trauma may include moments of varying degrees of objective life threats, physical violations and the witnessing injury or death. Trauma-exposed children experience reactions that include changes in feelings, thoughts, physiological responses, and concern for the safety of self and others. Children’s thoughts and actions (or inactions) during these moments may lead to feelings of conflict at the time, feelings of confusion, guilt, regret and/or anger. The degree of complexity often increases in cases of multiple or recurrent trauma exposure, and in situations where a primary caregiver is a perpetrator of the trauma.
A child’s traumatic experiences can undermine their sense of protection and safety, and can magnify concerns about dangers to themselves and others. Ensuring a child’s physical safety is critical to restoring a sense of protection. However, placing children in physically safe circumstances may not be sufficient to alleviate their fears or to restore their disrupted sense of safety and security. Exposure to trauma can make it difficult for children to distinguish between safe and unsafe situations, and that may lead to significant changes in their own risk-taking behaviors. Children who continue to live in dangerous family and/or community circumstances may have greater difficulty recovering from a traumatic experience.
Break the Stigma – Promote Children’s Mental Health