Today is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. As mom to a young child, I understand how important it is for parents to be aware of local resources, just in case. I sincerely hope that no one reading this has a young child who is exposed to a traumatic event, but in case we do, please read the article below to learn more about how to increase your child’s chance at resilience. Also know that counselors are available at the Foundation 2 Crisis Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, please call us at (319) 362-2174. We are always there, and we can help.
The following article is a repost from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. You can read it online here.
May 2011: Childhood Trauma and PTSD
When exposed to a traumatic event, children as young as 18 months can have serious emotional and behavioral problems later in childhood and in adulthood. More than 35 percent of children exposed to a single traumatic event will develop serious mental health problems.
With help from families, providers, and the community, young children can demonstrate resilience when dealing with trauma. Visit http://1.usa.gov/eURFX5 to learn more.
Among even very young children, ages 18 to 36 months, exposure to potentially traumatic events is associated with a range of socio-emotional and behavioral problems that may compromise healthy development and place them at risk for persistent serious psychological problems later in childhood and in adulthood.1 More than 35 percent of children exposed to a single traumatic event will develop a serious mental health problem.2
Research has shown that caregivers can buffer the impact of trauma and promote better outcomes for children even under stressful times when the following Strengthening Families Protective Factors3 are present:
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Concrete support in times of need
- Social and emotional competence of children
Trauma Data Source:
- Mongillo, E.A., Briggs-Gowan, M., Ford, J.D., & Carter, A.S. (2009). Impact of Traumatic Life Events in a Community Sample of Toddlers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 455-468. (Abstract retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19034643 )
- Perry, B. The Real Crisis of Katrina. National Association to Protect Children, Child Trauma Academy (Retrieved from http://vachss.com/guest_dispatches/katrina-tragedy.html )
- Horton, C. (2003). Protective factors literature review. Early care and education programs and the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Center for the Study of Social Policy.