latest research shows that when parents actively engage
their children in daily conversation about their lives in-and
out-of school, their kids have higher self-esteem, are less likely
to abuse drugs and alcohol, tend to have better grades and are
more likely to attend college.
To support every child’s emotional development and
educational success, NMHA and the federal Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have
teamed up to launch a national back-to-school educational
initiative that’s based on SAMHSA’s heralded “15+
to Listen, Take Time to Talk” program.
Developed by SAMHSA to help parents
and kids discuss everyday issues and tough topics, the “15+" program encourages
parents to set aside at least 15 minutes a day to listen and talk
with their children. NMHA is adapting and distributing the
program for use in communities across the country during this
back-to-school season, and throughout the year.“
Back-to-school time is a great opportunity to for parents to
really begin talking with their children about what’s happening
in their lives,” said Michael Faenza, MSSW, NMHA president
and CEO. “In just a few minutes a day, parents can provide
needed emotional support to kids who are making their way
through the turbulent times of childhood and adolescence.” The
back-to-school kit contains materials that will help NMHA’s
340 affiliates and other groups reach out to families and promote
parent-child communication on a range of topics
from kids’ aspirations to academic and social pressures to
The package includes:
- An activity planner that provides a list of ideas and
that can help generate parent-child dialogue.
- Children’s Mental Health Matters fact
sheets that cover the basics of mental health and offer additional
- A reading list of books for different age children
to help promote conversation.
copies of the kit. For more information, call
NMHA at 800-969-NMHA (6642).