It is critical to recognize that a child’s emotional and mental well-being is just as important as their physical health. Exposure to traumatic experiences such as violence and neglect, as well as deprivation that often accompanies poverty can negatively affect children’s behavior and, consequently, their relationships with family and friends and their ability to succeed in school.
To ensure that every child realizes her innate potential to become a healthy adult, productive citizen, and contributing member of society, Children First is dedicated to ameliorating the circumstances that contribute to child behavioral health problems and the barriers that impede children from accessing the services they need to feel better.
What is behavioral health? Behavioral health refers to both mental health and/or substance use challenges, including depression, anxiety, alcoholism, attention deficit disorder, disordered eating, drug addiction, and more. Behavioral health can range from individual behaviors and symptoms to a diagnosable disorder. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that one in five children in the United States lives with a behavioral health challenge.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PRIORITIES
- Preventing exposure to one-time or ongoing traumatic experiences such as violence, neglect, or racism that can negatively affect children’s emotional and mental wellbeing.
- All children should have access to quality behavioral health services, regardless of insurance coverage, socioeconomic status, or citizenship.
- Behavioral health services and supports must be high-quality, culturally relevant, age-appropriate, and patient-centered.
Are you a parent looking for supports or services for your child?
Check out the Salud conductual section of our comprehensive School Nurse and Counselor Manual.