Young Minds Matter! Kate Middleton Brings Awareness To Children's Mental Health | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Young Minds Matter! Kate Middleton Brings Awareness To Children’s Mental Health

“The mental health of our children must be seen as every bit as important as their physical health,” writes The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton as she launches the Young Minds Matter initiative. First Lady Michelle Obama has joined the effort, praising Kate for shining a “bright light on mental health.”

Every child deserves a safe, nurturing, and enriching childhood. That is why United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is committed to working with agencies that support the mental and emotional development of young children. We are working with First3Years, ChildCareGroup, Jewish Family Services, Children’s Hospital, and others to ensure each child is able to flourish and succeed.

In Texas, 46% of our children have had one or more adverse childhood experience (ACE). The Harvard University Center on Developing Children tells us that “early experiences actually get into the body, with lifelong effects—not just on cognitive and emotional development, but on long-term physical health as well. A growing body of evidence now links significant adversity in childhood to increased risk of a range of adult health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, stroke, obesity, and some forms of cancer.” We must work to reduce early childhood trauma.

Many parents are not aware of the following benchmarks, which can have a significant impact on childhood development*:
• Babies ages 0-6 months can sense and be affected by their parents moods.
• By 6 months, babies can experience sadness and fear.
• Most children are able to feel good or bad about themselves (early development of self-esteem) between the ages 1 and 2.
• Between the ages of 3 and 5, most children are able to control their emotions.

Healthy social-emotional learning at the earliest stages of a child’s brain development enable a child to be more successful in school. Parents/Adults who do not address their child’s social-emotional learning early on will see results in behavioral issues, trust, and self-regulation issues that can lead to negative effects in school. United Way is devoted to making sure every child is able to succeed and flourish.

Click here to read more about the Young Minds Matter initiative in The Huffington Post.

(Source: From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development)

This article was published on: Feb 17, 2016