October 10 is World Mental Health Day, a day that resonates strongly with the work Children’s Aid incorporates with the children and families it serves.
Our Early Childhood Program teamed up with Trauma Smart, a part of NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray's mental health initiative, Thrive NYC. Trauma Smart provides an extensive training for Early Learn programs that educates all Early Childhood staff on being trauma informed. Early detection of trauma in children lead to quicker support that can prevent life-long social, emotional and physical consequences of untreated trauma.
Vice President of Early Childhood, Moria Cappio believes this has only enriched our staff to be more proactive with mental health in the communities of our centers.
“The Trauma Smart training the early childhood staff learned a few years ago taught us that every single one of us — teacher, cook, custodian, family advocate, or leader — has a role is supporting the mental health of the kiddos we work with,” says Cappio. “In addition, having this shared framework has improved our practice with the children and families, and how we support our colleagues day to day."
Children’s Aid has a strong mental health backbone in its structure. Trained mental health clinicians in our programs help children and families cope with the recognition and treatment of emotional disturbances and with behavioral disorders before they become intractable illnesses.
Our New York State licensed outpatient mental health clinics provide children and family members with individual and family counseling, group therapy, emergency assessments/referrals, psychiatric evaluations, medication management and crisis intervention. These services are provided in our two community health centers and in our four school based health centers located in the Bronx, upper Manhattan and Staten Island.