National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2012 ~ Heros of Hope





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Published on May 10, 2012

What is a Hero of Hope?

A Hero of Hope is a caring adult who provides a child or youth with the kind of positive support and influence that can help the young person develop or enhance resilience. You may not think one person can make a difference, but the data shows otherwise.

For children and youth receiving services through SAMHSA grantees, data show that the effects of trauma can be reduced when there is a connection with a supportive adult. Through this connection, children and youth are much more likely to:

show improved behavioral and emotional skills
show improved academic performance
engaged in less criminal behavior
had greater ease with building attachments
Reactions to traumatic experiences vary by individual, and with help from families, friends, providers, and other Heroes of Hope, children and youth can enhance their resilience so they can be prepared for future challenges. You may not know whether a child or youth has faced trauma; what you should know is that you really can make a difference just the same.

You can be a Hero of Hope to a child or youth!

If you only have a minute, be a Hero for a minute:

—Offer a word of encouragement or praise to a child or youth, especially one who has been bullied or feels alone.

If you have an hour or two, be a Hero for a few hours:

—Coach a youth sports team, especially one that involves youth who may have a parent who has been deployed in the military.

—Volunteer at an organization that provides activities or mentoring for children or youth, especially youth whose families are in a homeless shelter.

If you have longer, be someone's lifelong Hero:

—Resolve to be a continuing positive influence in the life of a child or youth, and touch base regularly just so they know you're there.

You don't necessarily know whether someone has been through a traumatic experience, and you can be just the extra support a child or youth needs. Pledge to be a Hero of Hope for a child or youth in your life.



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