May 9th is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. It’s a day to recognize the importance of promoting good mental health in our children and to recognize what can harm their mental health. People are generally aware that bullying or the death of a parent can have impact. But what else should we know?
Exposure to traumatic events can substantially negatively impact a child’s mental health and have repercussions long into adulthood – not only on their mental health but on their physical health as well. In a recent study researchers estimated that 26 percent of children in the United States will witness or experience a traumatic event before the age of 4. In addition to death of a loved one, traumatic experiences can include witnessing domestic violence, experiencing abuse or neglect, having a life-threatening illness or injury, or living with a family member whose care-giving ability is impaired.