SAMHSA's National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative Helps Children Recover and Thrive With New Campaign

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwired - Jun 15, 2015) - Raising awareness about the impact of child traumatic stress and what parents and caregivers can do to help children recover and thrive is the focus of a new public education campaign launched today by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI). The campaign, titled, "Helping Kids Recover and Thrive," includes new public service announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish, as well as a website.

"Too many children and youth experience traumatic events, from serious injuries and illnesses to interpersonal violence, abuse, and neglect to natural or human-caused disasters. With support, children can recover from traumatic stress through a supportive caregiving system, access to effective treatments, and service systems that are trauma-informed," said Paolo del Vecchio, Director of SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services. "Our job is to improve the quality of community-based trauma treatment and services, and increase access to effective trauma-focused interventions, so that children and their families can get the help they need."

Forty-one percent of children and youth experienced a physical assault in the last year, and 1 in 10 experienced an assault-related injury. More than 1 in 10 experienced maltreatment by a caregiver. According to the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, adverse childhood experiences increases the likelihood of adult strokes, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, early death, and lowered job performance and employment levels. Over half of the more than 17,000 participants in the study had been exposed to at least one adverse childhood experience such as abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Adults who had six or more adverse experiences were likely to die 20 years sooner than those with none. 

Since the enactment of the Children's Health Act of 2000, NCTSI has been actively helping children and their families recover and thrive through the funding and support of a network of intervention developers and centers called the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). In fact, since its inception, NCTSN has trained more than one million health professionals including mental health professionals, primary care providers, and other professionals in child-serving systems, consumers, and members of the public. Additionally, more than 200 grants have been awarded to 180 member centers providing trauma treatment to thousands, and these centers have been able to provide evidence-based treatment to hundreds of thousands of children, adolescents, and their families.

To view NCTSI's PSAs and learn more about NCTSI, visit

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

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Contact Information:

SAMHSA Press Office
(240) 276-2130