A statement from our colleagues at the MSU Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health regarding the massacre yesterday of children and teachers at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas:
We are heartbroken to be sending this guidance again.
We are enraged to be sending this guidance again.
We are demoralized to be sending this guidance again.
We are exhausted to be sending this guidance again.
We are gut wrenchingly disgusted to be sending this guidance again.
We are overwhelmed to be sending this guidance again.
We can’t believe we are sending this guidance, yet again.
May is children’s mental health month.
What are we doing?
What are we doing?
Children and teachers have endured and sustained and persevered for the past three school years, trying to keep safe.
Trying. To. Keep. Safe.
The question is not, what are we doing…
it is what aren’t we doing…
We share guidance on how to talk to children after acts of violence.
Again. And again. And again.
And it feels futile and repetitive.
Yet, we share it believing that it may be supportive to those of us who support young children and their families at this time.
This is only a selection of the resources that are available.
There are many.
There have been too many ‘opportunities’ to publish these documents in the past ten years.
At this time…
10 hours after gun violence has impacted at least 100 people across our country, as it does, every day.
10 days after the white supremacist action of hate in Buffalo.
Almost 10 years after Sandy Hook.
What have we learned? What have we done?
Dismantle systems of oppression.
CLICK BELOW FOR RESOURCES
From the National Association of School Psychologists
From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network
From the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health
- If you feel uncertain about how to start this conversation with children, practice with adults first. Notice the parts of the conversation where you might need assistance and ask for support from other adults.
- Ask children what they know and what they have heard. Listen to the child’s story and follow the child’s lead. Use simple language and correct any misunderstood accounts. Tell a child what they need to know, not all that you know.
- Be there and be calm. Monitor your own emotion and tone of voice. Pay attention to your gestures, affect, and voice because children pay special attention to these ways of communicating. Children scan the faces, voices, and movements of others to discern safety. Your presence, voice, words, soft and loving touches, provide each child with the best ways of feeling safe.
- Share your feelings. It is okay and important for children to know that the adults in their lives have the same feelings when bad things happen. Ask about their feelings. Often children will experience and express their feelings through their body states. Ask them “what” and “where” they feel (e.g., head, tummy, chest, neck, etc.) as well as “how” do they feel.
- Recognize that there are some feelings that we can only share and cannot fix: Children need us to be there with and for them at such times. It’s appropriate to both not have an answer and be with the children in their sadness and confusion.
- While we encourage telling children about the events of January 6th, monitor repeated exposure to images and reports of the events. Provide enough exposure to inform, but not frighten.
- If children do get scared, remember the 3R’s of security: Relationships, Routines and Restoration. Highlight relationships with familiar and consistent caregivers, family, and friends. Protect and increase routines that are familiar and normalizing.
- Provide structure and communicate safety: Uncertainty is the province of adulthood. While we as adults may feel unsure of the state of our democracy, we must always let children know that we will take care of them and protect them.
- A sense of mastery can help alleviate fear and uncertainty. Encourage your children to get involved in a community or service program such as collecting items for a food bank, making a call to their Congressperson, signing a petition, or writing a letter to someone in local government about something that they would like to help change in their community.
- Remember to take care of yourself: We have all been living with the collective stress of Covid-19 and political uncertainty for a l-o-n-g time. Yet, we know that if the adults in a child’s life are overwhelmed, overstressed, and overtired, it will be more difficult for the child to feel safe, secure and stable. Prioritize the cultivation of the “ABCs” of self-care: awareness, balance, and connection, in your own life.
(Costa, G. & Mulcahy, K, 2021)
We are pleased to remind you of a 5-part graphic from ZERO TO THREE!
IECMH Clinical Workforce Solution Pathways was co-created by stakeholders from around the country to capture the myriad of pathways of influence and opportunity related to increasing the size, diversity, quality, and accessibility of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Clinical Workforce.
NJ-AIMH is pleased further to note that four of our members were a part of the contributors group: Gerry Costa, Kathy Mulrooney, Joaniko Kohchi, and Muhammad Zeshan, MD, a former Board member and ZERO TO THREE Fellow.
Take a look at this wonderful document and join me in thanking our members for their work.
NJ-AIMH is committed to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion, and the use of the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families.
by Lauren Block MD MPH and Adam Block PhD; Illustrated by Debby Rahmalia
Discover along with 8-year-old Kelly the science behind the COVID-19 vaccine, what to expect during and after the vaccine, and how vaccination will help us begin to move beyond the pandemic.
Authors of “Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus” and “Kelly Goes Back to School: More Science on Coronavirus” which have been downloaded over 25,000 times are back with their most important book yet on how the vaccine works and the importance of being vaccinated.
A recent report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) examined U.S. Census Bureau’s National Survey of Children’s Health to better understand the prevalence of ACEs specifically in young children. CAP’s analysis found that more than 1 in 4 young children in the United States have been exposed to at least one ACE. Reflecting the societal patterns of America’s racial bias, the researchers also found that children of color are disproportionately more likely to have exposure to ACEs in early childhood.
The New York City Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) recently hosted a webinar titled Reflective Supervision: A Process for Seeing Anew presented by Gil Foley, Ed.D., IMH-E (IV-C).
Reflective supervision is a relationship for self- exploration, discovery, and learning recognized across early childhood disciplines and systems as a best practice. Reflective Supervision is an act of shared mindfulness that helps Infant and early childhood practitioners understand themselves and their clinical experiences in greater depth and complexity; tolerate a range of emotions, their own and their clients’; amplify reflective function and solve problems with perceptiveness.
The process of reflective supervision guides attention towards the clinician’s inner experience and the contemplation of thoughts and feelings in a safe, “holding space” intermediate between didactic instruction and psychotherapy. By reflecting “on” the work, the clinician becomes better prepared to reflect “in” the work (Geller & Foley, 2009).
In this webinar, the participant was introduced to the meaning and conceptual underpinnings of reflective supervision; how it differs from traditional clinical supervision; the aims of reflective supervision, and the attributes of supervisor and supervisee that promote effectiveness. The process of conducting reflective supervision and how reflective supervision mirrors the development of reflective function in relationship was discussed. The effectiveness research and outcomes of an evaluation of reflective supervision with Nurse Family Partnership were reviewed.
The recording, presentation slides, and additional information can be accessed here.
AN INTRODUCTION TO INFANT/EARLY CHILDHOOD MENTAL HEALTH CONCEPTS AND PRACTICES: A THREE-PART WEBINAR SERIES
The New York City Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) hosted this three-part webinar series presented by Susan Chinitz, PsyD and Gil Foley, EdD, IMH-E.
MODULE 1 focused on:
-Principles of development and how they shape practice
-Infant/early childhood mental health concepts and practice
The Module 1 recording, presentation slides, and additional information can be accessed here.
MODULE 2 focused on:
-“Climbing the Developmental Ladder”: Capacities for emotional & social functioning
-Risks to children’s healthy social-emotional development, including the impact of child disability and regulatory disorders
The Module 2 recording, presentation slides, and additional information can be accessed here.
MODULE 3 focused on:
-Risks to children’s healthy social-emotional development including those that emerge from parents’ histories and children’s social contexts
-Screening, assessment and differential diagnosis
The Module 3 recording, presentation slides, and additional information can be accessed here.
This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. It includes books, videos, films, etc.
If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Feel free to circulate this document on social media and with your friends, family, and colleagues.