Insight #1 -" Child mental health concerns are under addressed that have significant implications for broader health and development of children and societies".
Head Start includes Mental Health as a component in the lesson plans teachers develop. "Second Step" is used to guide children through difficult issues they are encountering or may encounter in their lives.This is not the only resource teachers can use but it is effective when addressing child mental health concerns.
Insight #2 - "The emergence of mental health concerns in young children occurs within the context of an environment of relationships plays a critical role in shaping a child's social, emotional, and behavioral problems when children are young is an important societal issue that should be given the same attention as concerns about cognition and early language development".
This bodes to the nature versus nurture theory we all have read and heard about. Questions that arise concerning whether behavior problems are caused by bad parenting skills, inefficient classroom management, chemical reactions to foods and environmental toxins are continually being asked and researched so that reasons for the behavior problems in children can be easily explained and helped.
Insight #3 - "Child mental illness is a real thing. Children who experience persistent symptoms of mental illness are impacted in a wide range of areas from schools to social abilities, to proficiency in dealing with issues and challenges of everyday life. Child mental illness affects the success of the individual for the rest of their lives".
Many times a child's behavior problems are attributed to lack of discipline, precociousness, ADD/ADHD or a myriad of other reasons. The average person does not want to admit or believe that mental illness exists in children. How would something that does not exist in a child affect them for the rest of their life? These are the children placed in special education classes, or labeled throughout their school experience as "bad", "problems", "weird"," incorrigible" and other negative descriptions that impacts the child in other areas of their development.
The most important insight I received came as an explanation of mental illness in children that could be understood by a lay person. That explanation stated that "child mental illness could be conceptualized as an inability for children to function in developmentally culturally standard patterns. Explaining child mental illness as a functioning issue is easier for the non-professional to understand and be less resistant to recognizing certain diagnoses, like depression. Treatments for child mental illness can be conceptualized as ways of helping kids function, rather than treating an illness".
" Global Children's Initiative"(2009) retrieved from http://developingchild.harvard.edu/initiatives/globalinitiative/GCI-fact_sheetpdf-Adobereader
Child Mental Health Frameworks Institute retrieved from http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF_childmentalhealth/childmentalhealthreview.pdf