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Letter to the Editor: During Child Abuse Prevention Month, learn how you can have an impact

By Sue Loken, Learning Connection Program Coordinator, Floyd County Child Abuse Prevention Council Member

Did you know all children have mental health needs, even infants and very young children? When those mental health needs are met, children are more likely to do better in school, graduate, and are more likely to be healthy, productive adults in our community.

The architecture of a child’s brain is built over time. Adverse childhood experiences such as community violence or parental substance abuse can damage brain architecture, but secure, loving relationships, stimulating experiences and healthy environments can build a solid foundation to support children into adulthood.

Health promotion, prevention and early intervention for children’s mental health needs is essential to aid in healthy development.

Social supports and caring connections strengthen families, mitigating the negative outcomes of childhood trauma and reducing the risk of child abuse or neglect.

That is why the Floyd County Child Abuse Prevention Council works to build caring connections in Floyd and Mitchell counties. Through this effort, we can let everyone know that fostering connections with the children in their lives matters, and that goes a long way to developing healthy minds and strong communities.

This April, the Floyd County Child Abuse Prevention Council and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa invite you to know the signs of mental health concerns and be a trusting adult in the life of a child – ready to listen non-judgmentally and encourage appropriate professional support for children’s mental health needs.

We all have a role to play in healthy child development, and our goal this April is to help others recognize the ways we can maximize our impact.

You can also join us in celebrating Child Abuse Prevention Month by strolling through the Charles City Central Park to read the signs posted on the “Blue People,” visiting the Pin Wheel Garden at your local library, attending a workshop in the community that focuses on prevention, observing the Child Abuse Prevention proclamation from your mayor and county supervisors, or volunteering on a prevention council.

To learn more about child abuse prevention in Floyd and Mitchell counties, visit the Floyd County Child Abuse Prevention Council on Facebook.

Together we can give our children the foundation they need to reach their full potential, and as a result, build a community that is safer, healthier and more prosperous overall.

Learn more at www.pcaiowa.org.

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