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Support Children’s Mental Health during Child Abuse Prevention Month

Hardin County Child Abuse Prevention Coalition, Child Abuse Prevention Services of Marshall County and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa are joining communities across the state this month in celebrating the importance of social connections and working to strengthen social-wellbeing during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. Agencies and individuals across sectors are encouraged to know the warning signs of children’s mental health issues to support community efforts to improve mental health development for children.

Mental health is connected to social, emotional, and cognitive development and is a foundation for a healthy life, healthy community, and healthy state. When children’s mental health needs are met, they are more likely to do better in school, graduate, and more likely to be healthy, productive adults in our community. Caring and supportive relationships are the keys to strengthening social well-being, a primary indicator of overall health and essential factor in preventing child abuse and neglect.

The architecture of a child’s brain is built over time. Adverse Childhood Experience such as community violence or parental substance abuse can damage brain architecture, but secure, loving relationships, stimulating experiences, and healthy environments can build a solid foundation to support children into adulthood. Health promotion, prevention, and early intervention for children’s mental health needs, particularly when experiencing ACEs, is essential to aid in healthy development. Social supports and caring connections strengthen families, mitigating the negative outcomes of childhood trauma and reduce the risk of child abuse or neglect. Connected communities have lower crime rates, better physical and mental health, and less money is spent on treating social problems.

Both organizations work to prevent child abuse by advocacy and community outreach. During April, they invite community members to get involved by participating in local events! Their contact information is as follows:

Hardin County Child Abuse Prevention Coalition

2411 Edginton Ave, Eldora, IA 50627

641.939.8444

areents@greenbelthomecare.com

Mission: Provide increased awareness that puts an end to child abuse, and empower parents to build healthy family relationships.

Facebook: @CAPHardinCo

Child Abuse Prevention Services

811 E Main Street, Marshalltown, IA 50158

641.752.1730

linda@capsonline.us

Mission: prevent child abuse in Marshall County and the surrounding area.

www.capsonline.us

Our children are our future and if we take action not just in April but every day, we can go a long way toward creating stronger communities where abuse and neglect never occur. Remember, anyone can report suspected child abuse by calling the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-362-2178.

Carrie Kube

Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Director

524 Lawler, Iowa Falls, IA 50126

641.648.6575 * iarivervalleyeca@gmail.com

www.iowarivervalleyeca.com

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Disclosure: Carrie Kube is a Director for Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board.

All thoughts and opinions expressed are that of the author and not the Board

and/or its community partners.