Supporting Youth in Crisis
The National Survey of Children’s Health reports that almost half the nation’s children have experienced at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma. That is approximately 34 million children. A scary number, especially when you consider that this trauma will affect their mental and physical health into adulthood. Trauma, coupled with horrifying current events such as mass shootings and environmental disasters, wears on the mental and physical state of our children. So, how do we combat this trauma and negativity to support our nation’s youth and help them to grow into successful, healthy adults? We believe part of the answer is found through school and after school programing.
Pat Rogers, Clinical Director of Mental Health Services at FamilyMeans, states “We know that there are youth in Washington County and the surrounding areas who experience trauma and other mental health challenges. Our mental-health therapists provide support to quiet the external messages from the media, and provide a focus to slow down and unpack the feelings to understand and process their individual experiences.”
School based support systems of influential adults are composed of teachers and counselors who support our youth in crisis. One of these tools is a technique called mindfulness. With this technique the teacher or counselor assists students to feel calm by using strategic breathing and movement. Their calm and steady presence helps the youth relax, be more productive and positive in their thoughts, work, and discussions. This technique, coupled with a safe environment, and open minded and supportive adults, can help our youth through feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, burnout and more.
FamilyMeans school-based mental-health therapists are at the front line when it comes to combating continual trauma and negativity experienced by local youth. In addition, our Youth Development program also strives to guide youth through these difficult times. Through after school programing at the Cimarron Youth Center and Landfall Teen Center, our goal is to provide a safe, encouraging environment for children and teens. Pamela Cantor, founder of a nonprofit organization called Turnaround for Children stated “In a safe and orderly environment full of caring adults, children can find calm”. This calm can counter act the negativity and trauma that youth are faced with daily.
If you know a child or teen that could benefit from meeting with a FamilyMeans therapist please contact us at 651-439-4840.