April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and with the coronavirus crisis, it’s more important than ever for people and organizations to work toward raising awareness and preventing child abuse and neglect in their communities. The coronavirus pandemic has closed schools and childcare facilities around the world. With most children currently home from school, it’s likely that child abuse won’t get reported as often as usual since teachers file one in every five reports.
The stress of providing constant care for children, as well as the various mental and economic stresses that come along with this pandemic, could push more parents over the edge. Parents Anonymous Inc. has seen a recent 30% increase in calls to their National Helpline for Parents, a clear illustration of the current situation.
This recent increase in child abuse is troubling because abused and neglected children are at high risk for withdrawl, depression, suicide, violent behavior, and more. The effects of childhood trauma can last even into adulthood, as the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study has shown.
The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland County prioritizes the safety and health of children in our community, which is why we participate in Child Abuse Prevention month every year alongside our partners. During this time of crisis, we are committed to strengthening children and their families through additional mental health resources and Covid-19 related information.
We encourage parents, extended family members, neighbors, and our community to make use of the many online sources available to help children through this difficult time. Some of our favorite resources include:
Now more than ever, the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland County is committed to giving parents in our community the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children. Our hope is that by working together with all our partners we can raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect, recommit efforts and resources aimed at protecting children and strengthening families, and promote community involvement through activities that support the cause.
For additional family resources, click here.