“We are out to break the stigma for mental health in kids. We want our children to know that it is ok to not be ok,” said Teresa Prouty, Dayton Children’s Hospital Family Partnership Coordinator. Hospital leaders say they are also looking to change the way other people view mental illness. This is the hospital’s first year joining the “On Our Sleeves” project.
Smith, who is helping parents navigate the system, says that’s just one example of how the pandemic has impacted her and the children she helps. “I think it is sad that the kids can’t be around one another to hug and play, but there are other ways around it,” said Britany Smith.
Smith feels a new partnership is one potential way around the problem. Hospital staff says the pandemic has highlighted the unseen damage that isolation and depression can do to kids.
“Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by the age of 14, so it is important to go further upstream and talk about mental health and intervene earlier in a child’s life,” said Raines. It’s a change hospital leaders say is aimed at helping not just the kids, but also their parents. She says providing children better mental comfort has shown a direct connection to keeping them safer later in life.
Nina Raines, a certified prevention specialist at Dayton Children’s Hospital, says bringing this partnership to Dayton is important. Hospital leaders say it’s an example of why they’re excited about the future they say increases behavioral health services, following a year of intense pandemic struggles.
The News Highlights
- Dayton Children’s launches movement to break the silence about children’s mental health – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio
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