social emotional health
healthy children: brighter futures
Social and emotional development is a child’s ability to understand the feelings of others, control his or her own feelings and behaviors, get along with other children, and build relationships with adults. In order for children to develop the basic skills they need such as cooperation, following directions, demonstrating self-control and paying attention, they must have social-emotional skills."- (http://dmh.mo.gov/).Emotional development occurs within social constructs and therefore they are joined together.
While some children are born with mental health issues, the majority of children facing mental health challenges do so because of a variety of environmental and family risk factors. In addition, a child may have his/ her own "within-child risk factors such as a fussy temperament, developmental delay, and serious health issues. All of these factors need to be taken into careful consideration when gathering information to fully understand and support children's social and emotional health through a comprehensive, ecological approach." (Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Network). Key to preventing and treating mental health problems in young children is understanding and guiding the development of healthy social and emotional development and behaviors.
In April 2018, the Coalition hosted community members for a three year planning session. There was overwhelming consensus of those attending that social/ emotional development and early childhood mental health should become a increased focus of the coalition. The Coalition's newly developed Consortium for Resilient Young Children will be charged with oversight and informing the Coalition's efforts.
Science tells us that the foundations of sound mental health are built early in life. Early experiences—including children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, relatives, teachers, and peers—interact with genes to shape the architecture of the developing brain. Disruptions in this developmental process can impair a child’s capacities for learning and relating to others, with lifelong implications.