National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week May 4-10, 2014

During the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the emphasis for National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is Building Circles of Wellness. The Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University, describes the publication, In Brief l The Science of Neglect, the importance for the adults in the lives of children to build positive, supportive relationships with children. A significant way in which interaction effects the development of children is through the interactions between adult caregivers and their children. The typical “serve and response” style of interaction is essential for a child’s development and must occur form birth and continue throughout the first years of the child’s rapid brain development. The concern is the serious effects to the child’s brain when this adult/child interaction is diminished as in “chronic under stimulation; severe neglect in the family or severe neglect in institutional care including child care environments. As a result, the Center for the Developing Child points out, this severe deprivation or neglect effects the way in which the child’s brain develops and how the child processes new information which leads to a child that has a maladaptive manner in which he or she responds to stress, emotional and interpersonal difficulties. The Good News: The effects can be reversed! But it takes policy and programs that address the concerns through prevention and with timely, sensitive effective intervention within families, communities and nationwide. The following websites provide some of the most effectives programs that support families in their relationship with their children and in their communities. Resiliency in children is supported by a safe environment in the home, schools and in the community. National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is a key strategy of the Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign. This year, the national theme focuses on the unique needs of young adults, ages 16–25, with mental health challenges and the value of peer support in helping young adults build resilience. For more information on events and media messages:

Info Corner

Info Corner: National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Center for the Developing Child Harvard University