LOS ANGELES, July 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's Institute, the social impact organization dedicated to transforming the lives of children exposed to adversity and poverty in Los Angeles, released a PSA in English and Spanish today about the short- and long-term effects of childhood trauma.
The objective of the PSA is to educate moms, dads, caregivers and the general public about the impact of trauma, and to encourage families in Los Angeles to reach out to Children's Institute to access free support services.
In Los Angeles County, over half a million children are living in poverty, which accounts for approximately a quarter of the population. In 2018, there were 225,000 calls to LA County's Department of Children and Family Services' hotline resulting in the investigation of 137,000 allegations of child abuse or neglect.
"The common denominator for all the children we see at Children's Institute is trauma. Prevention, early detection and intervention can literally be life-saving," said Martine Singer, President & CEO, Children's Institute.
According to the Center for Youth Wellness, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including abuse, neglect, domestic violence, parental mental illness and substance abuse, not only affect brain development, but can also change children's hormonal systems, immune systems and even their DNA. This can cause behavioral problems, learning difficulties and physical health issues in childhood and adulthood.
"For children, stress in small doses, such as moving to a new neighborhood or taking a test, is a normal and healthy part of development. But when stress is unrelenting and there isn't a resilient caregiver to act as a buffer, it turns toxic," said Dr. Todd Sosna, Chief Program Officer, Children's Institute.
Without caring adults to mitigate its impact, stress caused by extreme poverty, neglect, abuse or parental depression can weaken the architecture of the developing brain, with long-term consequences for learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health.
Early intervention and providing children and their families with support services are critical to healing children's brains and bodies.
With six campuses and over 30 early education centers throughout Los Angeles, Children's Institute offers a wide range of services to combat the effects of trauma including free preschool, counseling and family strengthening services.
The PSA was created in partnership with nonprofit arts organization Film Independent whose mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. The PSA was directed by award-winning filmmaker Mary-Lyn Chambers, a Fellow of programs including Film Independent Project Involve, Sony Pictures Television Diverse Directors and the Alliance of Women Directors.
To learn more about Children's Institute, visit: https://www.childrensinstitute.org/
SOURCE Children's Institute