The National Institute of Mental Health’
s mission is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure.
To help fulfill that public-health mission, the NIMH uses its website to place different aspects of mental health in the spotlight. Unfortunately, recent events have prompted the NIMH to prominently place on its homepage a box with the title, “Helping Children Cope With Violence.” When that box is clicked, it leads to a section providing parents with resources to help their children get past a trauma.
That section says, “This is a time of high concern about violence committed by and against young people. As a nation, we are in a period of reflection as to what can be done to stem this tide. Helping young people avoid or overcome emotional problems in the wake of violence or disaster is one of the most important challenges a parent, teacher, or mental health professional can face.”
The agency lists publications it has produced that seek to stem the hurt on young minds that trauma can cause. Those publications are available with a click. They are:
- What Parents Can Do
- What Community Members Can Do
- What Rescue Workers Can Do
The website also has a section dedicated to the Newtown, Conn. tragedy, listing it as a “Public Health Emergency.” In that section it advises viewers who need to talk to someone about the events in Newton to call “The Disaster Distress Helpline,” which it says “is the nation’s first hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling.”
For not only acknowledging that “not all children enjoy the ‘carefree’ days of childhood,” but for using its website to inform and fulfill a sad public service in a timely manner, NIMH’s is Government Video’s Website of the Week.