New York is one of only two states in the nation that continues to prosecute 16-year olds as adult criminals.  By contrast, 37 states and the District of Columbia set their respective ages of criminal responsibility at 18 and 11 states set at 17 years of age.  Research has consistently shown that our current system does not work, leads to higher recidivism rates, and re-arrests.  See more

Mental Health Stigma

Trauma Informed Care



of Western New York Inc.

(716) 871- 8997

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Current Issues in Children's mental health



Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful, distressing and disturbing events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless and vulnerable in a dangerous world. Sociological trauma is a type of damage to the social life of an individual as a result of stigma.

No one is immune to the impact of trauma. Trauma affects the individual, families, and communities by disrupting healthy development, adversely affecting relationships, and contributing to mental health issues including substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse. Everyone suffers when multi-generations of people with untreated trauma go unsupported, causing community impacts including an increase in crime, loss of wages, and threat to the stability of the family.

If you’ve gone through a traumatic experience, you may be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a sense of constant danger. Or you may feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again. But with the right treatment, self-help strategies, and support, you can speed your recovery. Whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and move on.

The Children’s Mental Health Coalition believes in “Trauma Informed” care as defined by the National Council for Behavioral Health.   “Trauma-informed approaches suggests clinicians, organizations and whole systems of care are in an active and reflective process of engaging consumers with histories of trauma. Trauma-informed transcends the isolated, “in session,” application of specific clinical interventions that are designed to “treat” the symptoms of trauma.

Rather, trauma–informed care implies individual and collective systems recognize that trauma can have broad and penetrating effects on a person. These effects can range from sensory sensitivities, (to harsh noise, light for example) stemming from a sensitized nervous system, to other challenges, like distrust of others, despair, a damaged sense of self or powerlessness.In the active acknowledgment of these broad and varied effects, clinicians, organizations and systems of care actively work to cultivate physical environments that are healing and soothing. Also, we are working to create a “behavioral environment,” where staff (clinical and non-clinical) convey dignity, respect, hopefulness, the opportunity for choices and empowerment among consumers. This seems to be a never ending, ongoing process, involving exchange and dialogue with those we serve.”

The Children’s Mental Health Coalition strongly advocates for RESEARCH AND SERVICES in response to all illnesses that affect the brain.  This includes but is not limited to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism and pervasive developmental disorders, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

We condemn all acts of stigma and discrimination directed against persons with mental illnesses, whether by intent, ignorance, or insensitivity.We believe, in accordance with current scientific evidence, that persons who are receiving appropriate treatment and services for mental illness are no more violent than the population at large and that persons with serious mental illnesses are more often the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators of violence.