The Village Blog

Corto-Mergins_C2013

There’s help for children with social, emotional and behavioral issues

Parents want what’s best for their child. When a child is suffering, it causes a crisis in the entire family.

As director of The Village’s Collaborative Trauma Center, I’m often asked how parents can receive help for a child who is struggling with behavior or emotional problems. At The Village we see children as young as three and help parents, sometimes even before they give birth. Chronic stress from dealing with financial issues, domestic violence, trying to care for a family and hold down a job, etc – all these can cause a child to act out and develop behavior problems. But there is help – and the earlier a child receives help, the better.

Our trained clinicians, child psychologists and social workers have a variety of ways to help children who are suffering, learn to heal from trauma and other issues, and to acquire good coping skills. So, I always tell parents they can call us to see if we can help. We are here for the parents, and their child.

There are other resources as well. Parents and caregivers can learn about resources and helpful information to better understand mental health and seek services for your child at kidsmentalhealthinfo.com. To learn about the effect of trauma on children, visit the Child Traumatic Stress Network’s website. And the CT office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has educational programs for parents. Check out their website.

Saturday morning, I’ll be joining Susan Dunn from the United Way and Luisa Noujaim from Catholic Charities’ Institute for the Hispanic Family on WTIC-AM to talk about these issues. I’m glad to keep getting the word out so more children and parents can get the help they need.