Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (May 5, 2016) and National Mental Health Awareness Month (May 2016)

05/2016

 As a part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) invites you to join us in celebrating the 11th annual Children's Mental Health Awareness Day on May 5, 2016. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Children's Mental Health Awareness Day promotes positive youth development, resiliency, and recovery, along with the transformation of mental health service delivery for youth, adolescents, and their families. This year's theme, “Finding Help. Finding Hope.” explores how communities can improve access to behavioral health services and supports for children, youth, and young adults with mental and substance use disorders and their families.

We hope that you will help us further NCTSN’s mission—"to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families, and communities throughout the United States"—through your participation in Children's Mental Health Awareness Day.

Listed below are helpful resources related to children's mental health designed for child welfare/medical/mental health professionals; educators; juvenile justice professionals; military families, parents and caregivers, and policy makers.

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Featured NCTSN Resources

  • Adolescent Trauma and Substance Abuse Online
    This course was developed to educate mental health clinicians, substance abuse treatment providers, parents, caregivers, and youth on the complex interrelationship between psychological trauma and co-occurring substance abuse and dependency.
  • Help Kids Cope App
    Get your community and your family ready for the next disaster by downloading Help Kids Cope, which is a mobile app available by UCLA and works on mobile Apple devices (iPod touch, iPhone, iPad). This mobile app features how to talk with your children before, during, and after 10 different natural disaster or extreme weather events. There are examples of what to say to kids “in the moment” as well as how to explain these different events to children using  age-appropriate language. There are checklists to use during the preparedness phase, as well as tips on how parents can care for themselves as they care for their family.  The app connects families to additional resources including children’s books, tip sheets, emergency numbers, and how to locate shelters. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network partnered with Ozark Center, and Missouri Foundation for Health to create this app. The Android version will be available soon.
  • The Role of Trauma Among Families Struggling with Substance Abuse Speaker Series
    This series of webinars from the Trauma and Substance Abuse Committee focuses on a  range of issues and approaches related to substance abuse treatment and trauma response.
  • Understanding Child Traumatic Stress (2005) (PDF)
       >En Español: Entendamos el estrés traumático infantil (PDF)
    Comprehensive explanation of the causes, nature, and treatment of child traumatic stress. The online version features sidebars and links to more information on types of child traumatic stress.
  • Understanding the Links Between Adolescent Trauma and Substance Abuse: A Toolkit for Providers (2nd Edition)
    This toolkit explores the complex connections between traumatic stress and substance abuse, and provides guidelines for identifying, engaging, and treating adolescents suffering from these co-occurring problems. The entire toolkit can be downloaded as a single PDF file. The individual fact sheets that comprise the toolkit can also be downloaded individually.
  • Understanding Traumatic Stress in Adolescents (2007) (PDF)
    A fact sheet for providers who treat teens with emotional and substance abuse issues. Explains problems that adolescents often experience after exposure to trauma. Presents a developmental and contextual perspective on youth trauma, with special attention to the connections among trauma exposure, traumatic stress, and the development of substance abuse problems. 

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For Child Welfare/Medical/Mental Health Professionals

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

  • Building Community Resilience for Children and Families (2007) (PDF)
    A guide to assist individuals in decision-making and leadership roles in all sectors of a community. Provides information on helping communities increase their resilience and on improving their capacity to respond effectively to crisis.
  • Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit
    Provides basic knowledge about working with children who are in the child welfare system and who have experienced traumatic stress, and teaches associated skills and values. Explains how to support children's safety, permanency, and well-being—using case analysis and corresponding interventions tailored for the children and their biological and resource (foster) families.
  • Resilience and Child Traumatic Stress (2016)
    This resource emphasizes that most children recover and that it is not the fault of the child if they have problems after experiencing a traumatic event. Additionally, the fact sheet highlights factors that may enhance resilience in children after traumatic events, in addition to describing basic ways resilience can be incorporated into treatment and services for children and youth.
  • The Role of Trauma among Families Struggling with Substance Abuse Speaker
    The NCTSN Trauma and Substance Abuse Committee provided 2 webinars, one focused on trauma and caregiver substance use, and the other focused on trauma and prenatal substance use exposure.  
  • Service Systems Brief (Vol. 1, No. 1): Creating Trauma-Informed Child-Serving-Systems (2007) (PDF)
    Explains why it is important for child-serving systems (e.g., health, mental health, education, child welfare, first responders, criminal justice) to become more trauma-informed, to improve outcomes for children, and to maintain excellent standards of care. Encourages collaboration among child-serving systems through increasing public awareness and knowledge; building strategic partnerships with national organizations; and providing trauma-focused education and skill-building for frontline staff, clinicians, and administrators.
  • Sharing Power: A Tool for Reflection (2016) (PDF)
    The Partnering with Youth and Families Committee of the NCTSN developed a one-page, two-sided tip sheet entitled Sharing Power: A Tool for Reflection for providers to use to explore sharing power in trauma-responsive care. Providers also can use the tool to “wear the hats” of others at their agency—parent, intake worker, administrator, and more—to help broaden perspective and deepen their insights. The tip sheet covers these topics: language and tone (of agency outreach materials), intake and registration, conducting an initial meeting, giving assessment/evaluation feedback (for example, jargon-free), the course of care, obstacles and crises, and ending treatment services.
  • What’s Sharing Power Got to Do with Trauma-Informed Practice? (2016) (PDF)
    Family members are more likely to show up and continuously engage in the treatment process when a service provider welcomes their participation and respects their experiences. The Partnering with Youth and Families Committee of the NCTSN developed a one-page, two-sided tip sheet for providers seeking to build a trauma-responsive practice to share power with families, youth, and children. If you are a family member, you may want to show What’s Sharing Power Got to Do with Trauma-Informed Practice? to current or future service providers. The tip sheet discusses the importance of enhanced participation and its positive outcomes for trauma-informed care.
     

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For Educators

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

  • Back to School Resources for School Personnel (2012) (PDF)
    Resources highlight issues related to trauma, explain how trauma can affect children   and adolescents, and help schools support students and families who have been impacted by trauma.
  • Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators (2008) (PDF)
    Provides school administrators, teachers, staff, and concerned parents with basic information about working with traumatized children in the school system. Additional multimedia resources on related to this toolkit are available in the NCTSN Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma.
  • Complex Trauma: Facts for Educators (2014) (PDF)
    Explains the ways complex trauma may affect learning and offers recommendations for educators to support students and take care of themselves.
     

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For Juvenile Justice Professionals

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice System Brief Series
The National Center is pleased to announce a series of briefs from the Juvenile Justice Roundtable on special topics related to trauma-informed juvenile justice systems. This series furthers our discussion on topics key that address trauma within this system. The five briefs listed below address topics essential to our work of identifying and addressing key elements of a trauma-informed juvenile justice system, including trauma-informed assessment and intervention, cross-system collaboration, family engagement, racial disparity, and the environment of care in juvenile institutions.

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For Military Families

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

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For Parents and Caregivers

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

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For Policy Makers

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

  • Child Traumatic Stress: What Every Policymaker Should Know (2008) (PDF)
    Informs policy makers about the scope and impact of childhood trauma offers effective solutions that can be implemented with the support of informed public policy; includes additional resources.
  • Effectively Communicating with Policymakers and Key Stakeholders about Child Trauma and the NCTSN (2014) (PDF)
    This brief one-page fact sheet offers strategies for fostering effective communication with stakeholders on such topics as identifying your social policy issues; developing an effective change strategy; identifying your policymakers and scheduling meetings; appreciating the role of policy staff; and pre-, mid, and post-visit considerations.
  • The Need for an Integrated System of Care for Youth with Traumatic Stress & Substance Use Disorders (2011)(PDF)
    This policy brief discusses the overwhelming evidence documenting the range and severity of problems experienced by adolescents with co-occurring traumatic stress and substance use, and recommends addressing these problems through a youth-oriented coordinated treatment system of care that would require interagency collaboration, family and youth involvement, cultural competence, and accountability.     
  • Understanding Child Trauma and the NCTSN (2014) (PDF)
    This resource provides basic information about child trauma and the work of the NCTSN, and members and partners can use it to frame their communications with policymakers/stakeholders about child trauma.

     

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For Youth

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

StrengthofUs
An online community developed by NAMI and young adults. It's designed to inspire young adults impacted by mental health issues to think positive, stay strong and achieve their goals through peer support and resource sharing. Resources available for On our Own, Tacking Charge, Campus Life, Relationship, Educate Yourself, Friends and Family, Express Yourself.

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Preparing for National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
    Provides links to planning materials and resources that communities and organizations can use to celebrate Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. Information is available in English and Spanish.

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