Marking Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, New York City Group Releases New Brochure.

TRAUMA IN YOUNG CHILDREN: A HUGE PROBLEM HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT AND HOW YOU CAN HELP


The New York City Early Childhood Mental Health Strategic Work Group is pleased to release, “TRAUMA IN YOUNG CHILDREN: A HUGE PROBLEM HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT AND HOW YOU CAN HELP”. This new brochure helps to meet a pressing need for succinct and clear information about the importance of recognizing and responding to the all-too-often overlooked problems of trauma in children ages 0-5. The brochure speaks to anyone who comes into contact with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and is expected to be a valuable resource for professionals and other staff members in systems that serve these age groups.

The brochure encourages readers to be on the lookout for trauma, and offers concrete steps they can take to help prevent and alleviate the damage that trauma can cause. The brochure also lists organizations that offer more in-depth information and guidance on this pressing public health problem.

One important impetus for publishing the brochure was the growing body of research documenting the devastating impact of trauma and extreme stress on the brain development of young children and on-long term health and mental health. Compounding these problems, the impacts of repeated trauma are cumulative. The more often children are exposed to or experience traumas, the more likely they will experience social-emotional, academic, and health problems, even into adulthood.

The brochure points out that despite the severity of the condition, trauma in very young children can easily go unrecognized. Symptoms vary enormously from child to child, and many symptoms resemble those of less severe problems (for example, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHA) Furthermore, babies – and often toddlers and preschoolers -- cannot tell adults what is wrong. When a child has been subjected to a traumatic event – for example, witnessing a mother’s death or being badly injured in a fire— most people who work with young children will be aware that trauma is a possibility. However, trauma can be missed if it is a result of something less dramatic such as repeated harsh behavior or words that erode a child’s sense of safety and self.

The Workgroup that developed the brochure believes that is imperative to alert sensitive caregivers to the impact of trauma and extreme stress on young children and to make sure they know what they can do to help. We ask that you join us in our information sharing about early childhood trauma by distributing this brochure to anyone who works in a child care facility, hospital, child welfare agency, or early care and education programs, or to others who come into contact with young children.

This brochure was developed as part of the New York City’s Citywide Oversight Committee of the Co-ordinated Children's Services Initiative in response to The New York State Children’s Plan and was made possible with support through a grant from the Regional Technical Assistance Teams – Families Together in New York State.

Download the PDF: TRAUMA IN YOUNG CHILDREN: A HUGE PROBLEM HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT AND HOW YOU CAN HELP



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