SAMHSA Child Mental Health Event Promotes Trauma-Informed Approach

SAMHSA Child Mental Health Event Promotes Trauma-Informed Approach

Psychiatric News (American Psychiatric Association) - June 08, 2018

Mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. That was the message highlighted this year by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) during National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day last month. To mark the day, SAMHSA hosted a special event at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., under the theme “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma.” The event brought together governors’ spouses, senior federal officials, and organization executives representing the fields of primary care, behavioral health, and child welfare, including APA and the APA Foundation, for an interactive town hall. The event also featured trauma survivors, youth who had experienced mental illness, and their family members.

"Young people who have experienced trauma are more likely to develop mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders, McCance-Katz said. "We also know that trauma increases the probability that young people will develop physical problems like cardiovascular diseases later in life." Trauma, she said, includes adverse childhood experiences such as sexual, physical, and other kinds of abuse.

A new report by SAMHSA indicates that 82 percent of children receiving community-based mental health services have had traumatic experiences. After receiving services through SAMHSA’s Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI), which addresses the needs of children, youth, and young adults with serious emotional disturbance, suicidal thoughts among those who experienced trauma decreased by 68 percent, and suicide attempts decreased by 78 percent. In addition, the number of arrests declined while school attendance and performance improved.

“Evidence-based, trauma-informed care models such as those supported by SAMHSA are effective in improving outcomes for children and youth,” McCance-Katz said.



Also: Improving Life Outcomes for Children with History of Mental Health Challenges and Trauma (Press release):

Also: Helping Children and Youth Who Have Traumatic Experiences (SAMHSA report):

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