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Mental_health_awarenessSince 1949, May has been officially recognized as Mental Health Month.  The first Thursday in May is celebrated as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health and that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth.

Over the next week, the Partnership for Early Childhood Mental Health, (which includes the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Department of Public Health and the Boston Public Health Commission) invites all state employees to take a pledge to nurture a child’s social and emotional development. Enter your pledge and state email address at www.ecmhmatters.org, in the “for families and friends” section, and you will be included in a raffle to win an Early Childhood Mental Health Matters t-shirt. 

 Why take the Hero of Hope Pledge?

 Early childhood mental health means that young children are growing in their ability to understand and share feelings, have close and positive relationships, and explore and learn. Studies show that good social and behavioral skills in young children lead to good academic performance in the 1st grade and beyond.


Like adults, all children experience stressful events which can affect them emotionally and physically. Parents and other caregivers can help children cope with stress in healthy ways. Even the youngest child will benefit from simple, every day activities that will provide her with security, safety, and a loving environment, be this at home, at childcare or at school. 

Mental health awareness_OneinFour 

Help the child or children in your life develop their ability to cope with stress. Nurture healthy social and emotional development in babies and young children. Here are some things you can do:

       
 

 

For Babies and Toddlers

  • Rock, stroke, soothe and cuddle often.
  • Use words of comfort to calm.
  • Allow babies freedom to explore in safety.
  • Encourage toddlers to calm themselves.
  • Help your child to recognize feelings and develop language to express emotions.
  • Help your child stick to a daily routine.

 

 

For Preschoolers and Older Children

  • Spend time every day talking, discussing and sharing what's happening in your child's life.
  • Discuss what it means to be a friend and help your child to make friends
  • Practice effective ways to resolve conflict at school or on the playground.
  • Praise completed tasks, perseverance, desired behavior.
  • Build on developing an emotional vocabulary and how to label feelings.
  • Model and teach attitudes of empathy and ways of caring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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