In observance of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, BGCA has partnered with several organizations to provide Clubs with resources to support our members.
Each year National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. The national theme for Awareness Day 2018 is Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma. It will focus on the importance of an integrated approach to caring for the mental health needs of children, youth, and young adults who have experienced trauma, as well as their families. For more information on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/children/awareness-day.
Did You Know?
Approximately 1 in 4 youth live with a mental health condition, with the most common being mood, behavior, and anxiety disorders. Although many disorders can be treated, almost half of youth do not receive any mental health services. For youth with mental health conditions, early intervention is important. Youth who experience depressive episodes are more likely than their peers to do poorly in school and exhibit negative behaviors.
In the past decade, rates of death due to suicide among youth has more than doubled. Additionally, the number of youth admitted to hospitals for thoughts of suicide or self-harm has also doubled. There are many factors that can lead to suicide ideation, including mental health conditions, sexual assault, and bullying. Rather than focusing on any single risk factor, experts recommend approaching suicide prevention holistically by focusing on overall well-being and building a strong sense of community to reduce the odds of youth suicidal behaviors.
What Can Clubs Do?
The Be There Initiative is a comprehensive approach to help Clubs build supporting relationships and integrate best practices in supporting youth, staff, and families experiencing loss through trainings, resources, and strategies. The Be There toolkit and other resources can be found at BGCA.net/BeThere.
In addition to the Be There initiative, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has put together the following resources to help Clubs in their response to National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day:
- Tipsheet: Mentoring Youth Dealing with Trauma and Disasters
- Tipsheet: 10 Ways to Help Grieving Members
- Tipsheet: Helping Members Support Other Members
- Tipsheet: Helping Teen Members Cope with Grief and Loss
- Tipsheet: Talking with Members about Tragic Events
- Tipsheet: Providing Continued Support
- Tipsheet: Supporting Families who are Grieving
- Tipsheet: Explaining Suicide to Children
- Guide: Developmental Approaches to Grief
- Guide: Supporting Youth who Experience a Traumatic Loss
- Guide: How to Talk to Teens about Traumatic Events
- Guide: Youth and Suicide
- Guide: Suicide – What do Youth Development Professionals Need to Know?
- Toolkit: After a Suicide
- Toolkit: Be There
- Link Library: Grief and Bereavement Resources
- Assessment: Self-Care for Staff
- Assessment: Child Mental Health Screening Tools for Youth and Adults
- Webinar: “Balancing Self-Care while Caring for Youth”
- Video: “Know the Warning Signs”
- Online Community: “OK2TALK”
We hope you find these materials useful, and remember #mentalhealthmatters
To get all of BGCA’s Programs resources, Boys & Girls Club staff can go to BGCA.net.
How do you address children’s mental health in your Club? Do you have any specialized initiatives? Comment below or email your best practices to ClubXBlog@bgca.org.