NYU Child Study Center to launch Healthy Kids, Happy Futures

09/07/04

Education campaign to assist New York area Pediatricians in dealing with child mental health issues

The NYU Child Study Center, Project Liberty and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are proud to announce the release of Healthy Kids, Happy Futures, a pediatric education campaign. With support from Project Liberty, the program aims to assist pediatricians in becoming more proficient in identifying signs of trauma and other mental health problems in children and adolescents directly affected by the events of September 11, 2001. The program will provide educational materials and outreach activities for pediatricians in the New York metropolitan area to help identify children and adolescents at risk for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and disruptive behavior disorders and depression.

"We are extremely thankful to Project Liberty for recognizing the importance of such a program and providing the funding to allow us create this valuable educational program," said Harold S. Koplewicz, M.D., director of the Child Study Center. "We know that pediatricians are the first line of defense to identify potential mental health problems in young people. This program will help New York area pediatricians to more easily recognize warning signs in their patients and to provide earlier intervention and treatment."

Healthy Kids, Happy Futures will provide a series of public education sessions for pediatricians. These sessions will focus on a variety of topics including: short-term psychological responses to trauma, anxiety, depression, and grief; the course of recovery for most children; and how reactions are different based on the child's development and environment. In addition, a team of outreach workers will schedule appointments with metropolitan New York area pediatricians to provide in-office education for recognizing signs of PTSD, anxiety and depression as well as supply educational materials for parents and families.

"The Institute for Trauma and Stress at the NYU Child Study Center has done a wonderful job of promoting awareness of the psychological, social and biological impact of trauma on childhood development," said Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., Executive Deputy Commissioner of Mental Hygiene for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "We hope this collaboration will allow the Center to expand its education and outreach initiatives related to the effects of 9/11."

Project Liberty is a program that provides public education, outreach and free crisis counseling services to persons, families and groups most affected by the World Trade Center disaster. Project Liberty is supported by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency with the support of the Center for Mental Health Services. The program is administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health. For more information please call 1-800-LIFENET or 1-800-543-3638 or visit http://www.projectliberty.state.ny.us/

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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