Promoting Social and
Emotional Wellness
New York Association of School Psychologists
November 7, 2014
Why is this important?
Importance of Meeting Children’s Mental
Health Needs
unnecessary suffering
Keep kids on track
The Scope and Impact of SED
1 out of 10 children have a serious emotional disturbance; more children
suffer from psychiatric illness than from cancer, blindness, autism, mental
retardation, and AIDS combined.
Only 20% of children with an emotional disturbance receive specialty mental
health treatment. Children with mental health problems are much more likely
to appear in pediatric offices and in schools than in clinics or therapist’s
A majority of children & youth in juvenile justice settings and with “crosssystem” needs have serious emotional disturbance.
Emotional disturbance is associated with the highest rate of school failure.
Only 30% of children identified with emotional disturbance graduate with a
standard high school diploma.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year olds.
Children with Emotional Issues –
Impact on Education
Nearly all children with severe mental illness have
experienced erratic academic programming due to their
cyclical psychiatric crises and frequent changes in their
learning environment.
Youth in high school with mental health problems are
more likely to fail or drop out of school.
By high school few young people have a future vision that
drives engagement in school or vocational pursuits.
“Could someone help me with these?
I’m late for math class.” Scott Spencer
Impact of Trauma
The Adverse Childhood Experiences
(ACE) Study (
Adverse Childhood Experiences* (ACEs)
are very common
ACEs are strong predictors of later
health risks and disease
This combination makes ACEs ‘the leading determinant of…health and social
* Psychological or physical abuse by parents; Sexual abuse;
Household Dysfunction: Substance Abuse, Mental Illness, Mother
Treated Violently, Imprisoned Household Member
Adoption of HealthRisk Behaviors
Social, Emotional, &
Cognitive Impairment
Adverse Childhood Experiences
The Influence of Adverse
Childhood Experiences Throughout Life
We wait too long to identify and treat kids
Well intended, yet maladaptive responses
All child-serving systems work extremely hard to help
children with an emotional disturbance, but it is not enough…
Children and youth can only achieve their full potential if
together we operate at ours.