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Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Jessi Dolnik - Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is Thursday May 10th, 2018, with a theme of: “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma.” On this day, more than 1,100 communities and 170 national collaborating organizations and federal programs plan local Awareness Day activities and events around the country, including an event in Washington, DC, hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which will bring together governors’ spouses, youth and family leaders, senior federal officials, and executives from leading professional health organizations for a town hall discussion on how to transform child serving systems to be more trauma informed. Trauma-Informed Care is a hot topic in pediatric healthcare right now. The American Psychological Association defines trauma as “an emotional response to a terrible event,” which can include experiencing a natural disaster, neglect/abandonment, abuse, or witnessing violence.

Trauma-Informed Care is a paradigm shift, a lens in which past traumatic experiences are understood to have the potential to alter a person’s nervous system and development, thus impacting one’s behavior and functioning as a result. AOTA has a great factsheet regarding OT’s role in childhood trauma, which can be found here.

Below is a list of other resources relating to childhood trauma:



The primary website of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), NCTSN.org offers information on various aspects of child traumatic stress, including trauma types, treatments and practices, and trauma-informed care; the site also provides access to over 875 free resources (including training curricula, fact sheets, resource guides, and videos) to help child-serving professionals as well as parents and caregivers better support children who have experienced trauma.

NCTSN Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma


This source for online training offers free courses and resources on various aspects of child traumatic stress, including hundreds of webinars, eLearning modules, and videos (many offered for continuing education credit) on special populations, clinical training, service systems, and Psychological First Aid.

What is Child Traumatic Stress?


This fact sheet, produced by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, provides an overview of child trauma, describes traumatic stress symptoms, and identifies ways children may be affected by trauma.

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Eventhttps://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources//age_related_reactions_to_traumatic_events.pdf

This fact sheet, produced by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, describes how young children, school-age children, and adolescents react to traumatic events and offers suggestions on how parents and caregivers can help support them.

Understanding Child Trauma and the NCTSN


This resource provides an overview of child traumatic stress and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

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