Adolescents who are victims of sexual assault are up to five times more likely to suffer mental health problems or commit delinquent acts than those who haven’t been victimized, according to the National Institute of Justice. Furthermore, being abused or neglected as a child increases the likelihood of being arrested for a violent crime
by 30 percent, the institute reported.
One child abuse survivor who struggled with addiction and spousal abuse later in her life offers a way to change those statistics. Author Sherry Green says requiring all school-age children to undergo mandatory annual mental health screening will allow professionals to find and correct mental health issues before children act out as a
result of those problems.
Green will tell listeners:
• Mandatory mental health screening would help not only to catch mental health problems early in a person’s life but also would give children a safe forum to tell professionals about bullying and other forms of abuse.
• Perhaps even the massacre of 26 people at a Newtown, CT, elementary school in December could have been avoided if mandatory mental health screening could have identified the shooter’s psychological problems when he was younger.
• Her own suffering and mental health struggles could have been lessened had she been subjected to mandatory mental health screening as a child.
CREDENTIALS: Sherry Green, author of CHILD ALONE, is an Oregon writer and survivor of child, sexual, and spousal abuse. She also is a recovering addict. She is splitting the profits from her memoir with the Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Children.
AVAILABILITY: OR., nationwide by arrangement and via telephone
CONTACT: Sherry Green, (503) 887-1244; firstname.lastname@example.org