Brookhaven Retreat Alerts Clients of the Hereditary Aspects of Mental Health Issues during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week May 1 – 7, 2016

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Brookhaven Retreat ® LLC, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, alerts clients of the hereditary aspects of mental health issues during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week May 1 – 7, 2016.

Brookhaven Retreat ® LLC, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, alerts clients of the hereditary aspects of mental health issues during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week May 1 – 7, 2016.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), five major mental disorders share some genetic risk factors. National Institutes of Health-funded researchers have discovered suspect genetic variation at the same four chromosomal sites in the following disorders traditionally thought to be distinct. They are: autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia.

The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health announced the theme for the 2016 National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week as “Healthy Families, Resilient Children: Mental Health is a Family Affair!”

In conjunction with the critical need for U.S. mental health care reform, which requires an ongoing effort to educate people about prevention and early identification of mental health issues, it’s important that children are treated as an integral part of a family unit, especially surrounding issues of legislation, policies, and practices designed to endorse full family engagement and participation in their care. Additionally important is to advocate for a holistic approach to children’s mental health.

Some facts to highlight regarding children’s mental health are:

  • Half of all lifetime cases of mental and substance use disorders begin by age 14 and ¾ by age 24.
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 adolescents with anxiety, eating, or substance use disorders receive treatment for those disorders.
  • Half of adolescents with severely impairing mental disorders never receive treatment.
  • More than 34,000 Americans commit suicide every year, which is about one every 15 minutes.
  • More than 6 in 10 U.S. children have been exposed to violence in the past year, including witnessing a violent act, assault with a weapon, sexual victimization, child maltreatment, and dating violence, and about 1 in 10 suffered injuries.
  • Adults who begin drinking before the age of 21 are more likely to be later classified with alcohol dependence or abuse than those who had their first drink at or after age 21.

Founder of Brookhaven Retreat, Jacqueline Dawes, says, “It can be difficult to identify signs of mental health issues in children, so it’s crucial to be aware of the possibilities and know what to look for. If we as parents have certain issues, it’s important to pay attention to our children’s needs and to talk to them to ensure small, treatable issues don’t morph into larger issues that become increasingly difficult to manage as they get older. They must know that we’re all in a constant state of learning, and that it’s OK to ask for help. We must demonstrate that their feelings, ideas and needs matter.”

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure and cared for by a staff of highly trained professionals.

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Lisa Breeden
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