Mental Health and Children (update – Dr Sulik has since become the founder of Praestan Health)
What have we learned since then?
Speaking at the 2005 MSSWA Annual fall conference, Dr. Sulik from St. Cloud’s Centre Care gave one of the best explanations of mental health that I have ever heard. He also runs one of the most effective programs for saving troubled children in our nation.
These are my observations as I apply Dr. Sulik’s information to the work I do with abused children.
Boys and girls are complex beings living within complicated and demanding social structures.Children unfortunate enough to be born to dysfunctional parents and toxic living conditions develop very differently than children growing up in healthy families (physiologically and mentally).
Each year in America there are about three million children reported as abused and about one million kids enter Child Protection Services.
Emotionally and mentally ill children are poorly equiped to learn in school, play well with others, or respond appropriately in social situations.
Abused and neglected children suffer traumatically from the terrible experiences that led to their removal from their birth home.What we observe to be rage and anger from troubled children are generally anxiety ridden/traumatic responses to current perceived threats and past violence.
Those of us who work with traumatized children are familiar with the pain and suffering just below the surface of most damaged children. We also know that if untreated, damaged children turn into damaged adults, preteen mothers, and dangerously disturbed people.
The economics of treating mental health issues for children is far more effective than letting the problems grow into adulthood, where the evidence clearly indicates a continued social failure and institutional dependence (whether prison, hospital, or state sponsored programs) for those people denied help in their youth.
Today our congress passed a bill cutting fifty billion dollars from programs that could have helped these people…the least among us, to have some of their most basic needs met.
It hurts me to live in a nation so willing to abandon needy children.
Support at risk children, start a KARA group in your community
Have something to add?