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In our mental health and youth violence prevention work, there are partners we routinely engage during program development: mental health practitioners, school administrators, community leaders, and community members. It is crucial that we engage students and their families (including families of young children) as key partners because often these community members are the people our programs aim to serve. Engaging families and youth early in program planning gives us an opportunity to incorporate their perspectives. Additionally, their valuable insights help us make key decisions during the planning and implementation phases of programs to ensure we are addressing their needs. 

While the processes of engaging youth versus engaging families have different best practices, they share common values. For example, they both incorporate the value of “nothing about us, without us”—that is, any decisions about serving families or youth should be made with the full participation of youth and families. Both approaches also focus on mutual respect among families, youth, and adults, as well as cultural and linguistic competency, recognizing that a community’s culture impacts the lives of its members.

In addition to addressing these shared values, we consider incorporating the following best practices into our program development work. Doing so creates programs that are accessible and beneficial to families and children and, ultimately, have a significant impact on our communities. Learn more.

Implementation of Young Child Wellness Strategies in a Unique Cohort of Local Communities

Under the National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, six Project LAUNCH grantees worked together to create an e-Book describing the innovative strategies they used to improve outcomes for their communities. Read more.

News Review: Children’s Mental Health and Youth Violence Prevention

The National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention helps capture what is occurring in the field and across the country. Each week, we monitor hundreds of media outlets to share national conversations about early childhood development, mental health, and youth violence prevention. Read more.

Check Out the Latest Research in Youth Violence Prevention and Children's Mental Health Research 

In this issue, we take a deeper dive into the CDC initiatives that work to keep America safe and healthy, the mental health effects on adolescents as they transition to high school, the early childhood predictors of youth violence in low-income male adolescents—and more. Read more.

Facing Addiction in America:
The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

Did you know that 1 in 7 people in the United States is expected to develop a substance use disorder at some point in their life? And did you know only 1 in 10 of those who develop a substance use disorder will receive any type of substance use treatment? Learn more about the Surgeon General's Report

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The contents of the National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention newsletter and website were assembled under a cooperative agreement from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The newsletter and website is operated and maintained by AIR and is supported by grant number 5U79SM061516-02 from SAMHSA. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of SAMHSA or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention · 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW · Washington, DC 20007 · USA

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