CHICAGO, May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created Caring for Every Child's Mental Health awareness day back in 1994 with the mission to increase awareness around children's mental health. This year, the awareness day is being held on May 9.
"A lot of our residents have suffered from developmental trauma during childhood," said Kim Dennis MD, medical director at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center. "Some of the trauma is subtle and some not so subtle, meaning there was sexual or physical abuse or witnessing domestic violence. Most are in denial about the effect of the trauma on them as an adolescent or adult when they come into treatment."
Commonly, children who have experienced trauma in their childhood and weren't treated for it, often find self-destructive ways to survive and get through life. They deal with their unnamed and untreated trauma by developing eating disorders, compulsive self injury, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and substance abuse. Many individuals who experienced sexual abuse develop sexually compulsive behaviors.
"Early intervention for trauma works," adds Dr. Dennis. "It's critical to identify at-risk children and get them to help and safety as soon as possible. When this doesn't happen, they can go on to have horrible outcomes, including eating disorders, substance abuse and even death by suicide. Many live miserable lives and are labeled 'borderline' and never receive the trauma treatment they deserve. Some of the effects are more subtle like being underemployed, having no friends to rely upon, being in empty marriages or even abusive relationships and workplaces."
Timberline Knolls believes addressing childhood trauma is the most critical and often overlooked aspect of treatment. Only by working through trauma, can adolescents and adults achieve lifelong recovery, true freedom and an abundant life.
"One of the best things I do in my daily work is help women connect to themselves," adds Dr. Dennis. "The wounded children are still very much alive inside many of our residents."
About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls (ages 12 – 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus. Women and families seeking Christian treatment can opt for specialized Christian-based therapy. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also on Facebook – Timberline Knolls, and LinkedIn – Timberline Knolls.
Mary Anne Morrow
Director of Communications
SOURCE Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center