Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (May 7, 2015) and National Mental Health Awareness Month (May 2015)

05/2015

As a part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) invites you to join us in celebrating the 10th annual Children's Mental Health Awareness Day on May 7, 2015. 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 addresses the needs of children, youth, and young adults with mental health or mental health and substance use challenges 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

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For Child Welfare/Medical/Mental Health Professionals

National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

  • 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.
  • 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.

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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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