Mental Health Awareness Month
Let's talk about how mental health plugs in at A Caring Place.
It is the mission of A Caring Place to be a leading advocate in the healing and prevention of child abuse. That's our mission statement that you've probably seen or heard if you've found your way to our blog.
At A Caring Place, we see children who have been physically abused, sexually abused, emotionally abused, severely neglected or endangered, and children who have witnessed horrific acts of violence. Sometimes, a single child comes to us after having experiencing all those types of child abuse. Child abuse is one type of trauma that often becomes a burden throughout an individual's life. We've heard children say "I really must be a terrible person worth nothing for them to have treated me that way."
This terrible trauma leads to harmful thought patterns as the child attempts to grow and learn about the world. Children who have experienced abuse often become adults with a lack of clear identity and severe depression or anxiety. Without the ability to trust that they are safe, children will begin to display aggressive and problematic behaviors based on the internal thought of "I will hurt them before they can hurt me."
At A Caring Place, these children and their caregivers are shown a unique compassion that the child welfare system and law enforcement systems are often unable to provide. They are reminded that they are safe, and that they have people around them who can help. The child tells their story through a forensic interview in a private and child focused environment. We offer resources to these kids and their caregivers, being mindful of what the whole family's needs are. Children are referred to local professionals who have dedicated their lives to working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. A Caring Place helps keep these local professionals up to date on best practice for trauma informed treatment, all so we can ensure that the children we serve have the best possible opportunity to heal.
None of this happens without the support of our community. Every action you take either makes the world safer or scarier for kids, and we want to educate and encourage you to do things that make kids feel safer. Be brave enough to talk about tough subjects such as mental health and child abuse with the children in your life. That is how we will break the stigma and get people help sooner.