|National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Responds to Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy
NAMI issued the following statement on Dec. 14, 2012 in response to this recent tragedy which includes recommended links to trauma resources for families:
"Like other Americans, NAMI is horrified and saddened by today's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As of Friday at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern), news reports indicated that close to 30 people were shot and killed, most of them children. We extend our sympathy to their families and to all who knew and loved them.
It is extremely important that the Newtown, Conn. community be prepared to provide trauma services and resources to all those affected by the tragedy. Our national community must do so as well. The tragedy will inevitably leave an impression on many children. Parents and caregivers throughout the country will need to reassure them.
American Psychiatric Association recommendations include:
- Create an open and supportive environment where children know they can ask questions.
- Give honest answers and information. Use words and concepts they can understand.
- Help children to find ways to express themselves and to know that people are there to help. Remember also that children learn by watching parents and teachers react and listening to their conversations.
- Don't let children watch too much television with frightening repetitious images.
- Monitor for physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches or other pains.
Additional resources are also available from the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS), the University of Maryland Center for School Mental Health (CSMH) and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
...When tragedies occur, no matter what their nature or cause, national, state and local communities must come together to find out what went wrong and to take steps to ensure it does not happen again. We expect such scrutiny to occur in days and weeks ahead. Today, however, is a time to mourn and pray for the victims of a senseless act and for their survivors. As a nation, we must reassure each other."
- Report Reveals Further Reduction in Veterans Homelessness; VA Also Announces $300 Million to Expand Homeless Prevention Program (NIMH Partners Update, Dec. 15, 2012) The Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that a new national report shows that homelessness among Veterans has been reduced by approximately 7 percent between January 2011 and January 2012. The 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, prepared by HUD, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009. The AHAR reports on the extent and nature of homelessness in America.
- Psychotropic Medications Are Prescribed Appropriately Among U.S. Teens, National Study Finds (NIMH Partners Update, Dec. 15, 2012) Prescribed psychotropic medications are not being misused or overused among youth in the United States (U.S.), according to a study using nationally representative data sponsored by NIMH.
- SAMHSA is seeking input from the public on the concept paper, SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Trauma and Principles and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach. Feedback will be considered in the shaping of the definitions of trauma and trauma-informed approach, the principles, and the guidelines of a trauma-informed approach. Comments will be accepted through Friday, December 21, 2012.
Training and Fellowship Opportunities
SAMHSA GAINS Center trauma training delivery and train-the-trainer events
free of charge to up to eight selected communities between February 2013 and September 2013. The target audiences for this training are community-based criminal justice system professionals, including police, community corrections (probation, parole, and pre-trial services officers), court personnel, and other human service providers. Since the purpose of this training initiative is to offer targeted technical assistance and training to prepare communities in the field, there are no fees for registration, tuition, or materials associated with these trainings. Application due Jan. 14
Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media work/study program
Multi-year program prepares a diverse group of talented young professionals to enter the workforce with specific job-related skills, knowledge of the corporate environment and a strong foundation for future advancement. Any minority student (African American, Hispanic, Asian or Native American) who is a rising high school senior, graduating high school senior or college freshman, has a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, is interested in pursuing a career in the media industry, and plans to attend a four-year accredited college or university is eligible to apply. Application due Jan. 31
Champions for Change
(The Center for Native American Youth) Champions for Change recognizes and encourages inspirational Native youth (ages 14 to 24) working in their tribal or urban Indian communities to promote hope and make a positive impact. Application due Jan. 31
Disparities Leadership Program
(Disparities Solutions Center/Massachusetts General Hospital) Education and leadership training to develop a national network of skilled individuals dedicated to eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in health care. Application due Feb. 8.