Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (May 8, 2014) and National Mental Health Awareness Month (May 2014)

05/2014

As a part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) invites you to join us in celebrating the 9th annual Children's Mental Health Awareness Day on May 8, 2014. 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 observance focuses on young adults and early childhood trauma.

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

  • Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event (n.d.) (PDF)
    Describes some ways that young children, older children, and adolescents react to a traumatic event. Offers suggestions to parents and caregivers on how they can help and support their children through the emotional and physical challenges they face after exposure to a traumatic event.
  • Early Childhood Trauma (2010) (PDF)
    Describes the unique scope of early childhood (aged 0–6) trauma. Topics include symptoms and behavior exhibited in early childhood trauma, resilience factors, and treatments. Listings of resources are provided for parents and caregivers, mental health/child welfare/early education/medical professionals, family court judges and staff, early educators, and childcare providers.
  •  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 Child Trauma and the NCTSN (2014) (PDF)
    Fact Sheet explains the causes and costs of child traumatic stress and the work of NCTSN.
  • 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 guidebook on ways to help communities improve their capacity to take meaningful and effective actions before disasters (natural and manmade) and acts of terrorism occur. Offers advice on how to respond effectively, cope, recover, and reestablish stability after such events.
  • 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.
  • Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents (2003) (PDF)
    Provides an overview of complex trauma in children and adolescents. Cost, impact, assessment and treatment of complex trauma are addressed in the brochure.
  • LGBTQ Youth and Sexual Abuse: Information for Mental Health Professionals (2014) (PDF)
    Tip sheet provides a short glossary of relevant terms; a chart delineating the continuums of sex, gender, and sexual orientation; brief summaries of issues concerning LGBTQ youth and their parents related to sexual orientation and sexual abuse; a table of common myths and stereotypes about LGBTQ youth and sexual abuse; recommendations for practitioners and agencies on counseling LGBTQ youth; and guidance in treating LGBTQ youth following sexual abuse.
  • NCTSN Crossover Youth and Trauma-Informed Practice Speaker Series
    The National Center for Child Traumatic Stress and the Center for Juvenile Reform presents a three-part webinar on crossover youth, youth who are known to move between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
  • 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.  
  • NCTSN Screening and Assessment in the Juvenile Justice System Speaker Series
    This series describes the utility of screening and assessment for trauma in juvenile justice settings, specific instruments that are used or can be used in juvenile justice settings, how to best utilize data derived from screening and assessment, and recommendations for agencies and practitioners interested in implementing trauma-informed screening and assessment.  
  • 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.

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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.
  • Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for School Staff (2011) (PDF)  
    Discusses how difficult financial circumstances and economic hardships experienced by school personnel, students’ families, and students can negatively affect school staff. Offers practical ways to cope and help others cope by improving a sense of safety, calming, self- and community efficacy, connectedness, and hope.
  • Helping Military Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Educators (2014) (PDF)
    Tip sheet offers information on how children dealing with trauma and grief responses may feel and how you can help them.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children

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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

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For Youth

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

  • Community Violence: Reactions and Actions in Dangerous Times (2013) (PDF)
    This fact sheet, written for youth addresses community violence. The fact sheet helps youth understand community violence doesn’t have to dominate their lives if they understand their reactions to it, how to keep themselves safe, and how to make positive choices in dangerous times.
  • Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for Youth (2011) (PDF)
    Designed for students in high school and college to help them understand how their families’ and their own economic hardships may affect them. Offers practical ways to cope by improving a sense of safety, calming, self- and community efficacy, connectedness, and hope.
  • Staying Safe While Staying Connected: Facts and Tips for Teens (2011) (PDF)
    Identifies some of the dangers of connecting via technology—including sexting—and offers tips for staying safe and protecting teens’ identity.
  • Violent Places, Dangerous Times: Does Community Violence Control Your Life (2013) (PDF)
    Violence in neighborhoods and communities affects youth all across America.  This fact sheet, designed for youth, provides a list of questions youth can ask themselves about violence in their neighborhoods.

American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists

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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