Children’s Mental Health Matters!
Children’s Mental Health Week
May 4-10th, 2014
Join us this year and wear a green ribbon! It brings awareness to the needs of children with emotional, behavioral, mental and social disabilities and their families across Iowa.
In the 1800s the color green was used to brand people who were labeled “insane.” The children’s mental health community decided to continue using the color green, but with a completely different focus. Green signifies new life, new growth, and new beginnings. Therefore, we wear the green ribbon to raise public awareness, better the lives of children with serious emotional disorders and show our support of these children and their families.
CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH FACTS
Did you know?
---it has been estimated that almost 21 percent of U.S. children ages 9 to 17 have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder associated with at least minimum impairment.
---of these children, less than one in five receive needed treatment.
---suicide is the third leading cause of death of youth aged 15 to 24 in the United States.
---eating disorders can be fatal if left untreated.
Did you know?
---with early detection and appropriate treatment, chances are excellent that most children with mental health needs can recover and lead healthy lives.
---the treatment success rate for children’s mental health disorders is 80%.
Did you know?
---seventy–four percent of students who drop out of school and who are categorized as seriously emotionally disabled are arrested within five years of dropping out.
---a student who drops out of school is more likely to go to prison than a smoker is likely to get cancer.
ANTI-STIGMA: DO YOU KNOW THE FACTS?
Stigma is not just the use of the wrong word or action. Stigma is about disrespect. It is the use of negative labels to identify a child living with mental health needs. Stigma is a barrier and discourages families from getting the help they need due to the fear of being discriminated against.
Do you know that Stigma:
- Results in inadequate insurance coverage for mental health services?
- Results in fear, mistrust, and violence against families and children living with mental health needs?
- Results in families and friends turning their backs on people with mental health needs?
- Keeps people from getting needed mental health services and that people would rather tell employers they have committed a petty crime and were in jail, than admit to being in a psychiatric hospital?
Anti-Stigma Dos & Don’ts:
• Do use respectful language that puts the child first, such as:
-- Child with emotional, behavioral, or social needs
-- Child who has schizophrenia
-- Child with special mental health needs
-- Child who has bipolar disorder
• Do emphasize abilities and strengths, not limitations.
• Do tell someone if they express a stigmatizing attitude.
• Don’t portray successful children with disabilities as super human.
• Don’t use generic labels such as retarded, or the mentally ill.
• Don’t use terms like crazy, lunatic, manic-depressive, slow functioning, or normal.
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:
- Every child's mental health is important. Many children have mental health problems.
- These problems are real, painful, and can be severe.
- Mental health problems can be recognized and successfully treated.
- By working together, caring families and communities can help.
Information on this sheet adopted from a publication of National Mental Health Services Knowledge Exchange Network www.mentalhealth.org