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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Ian Goldsmith, Ed Featherston, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

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Abilene Behavioral Health Recognizes National Child Abuse Prevention Month

ABILENE, TX--(Marketwired - April 17, 2014) - April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month which is dedicated to acknowledging the importance of families and communities coming together to not only prevent child abuse and neglect, but to promote the overall social and emotional well-being of children and their families. Abilene Behavioral Health, providing a full spectrum of mental health care for children and adolescents, recognizes and supports the importance of child abuse awareness.

"Children are our most valuable resources and are vital to the future success of our country," said Sheila McDermott-Lord, CEO. "When a community comes together to ensure that all children have the ability to thrive through nurturing and support, they have the opportunity to grow into contributing and healthy adults."

During April, communities are encouraged to come together to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness strategies and to promote prevention throughout the country. Children that are abused and neglected grow up in a constant state of stress which disrupts normal childhood development and causes many to engage in a number of risky behaviors. Instead of becoming productive members of society some children may end up in the legal system, develop mental health problems, and in some instances, may die as result of poor choices.

"At Abilene we believe that preventing childhood abuse and neglect is so important because as children grow, their life experiences are what shape their maturing brains, with each phase of development being a foundation for the next," adds Dr. Justin Parrott. "If the foundation is not stable, due to abuse or neglect, then the development that follows is going to be affected. It is far easier to prevent the development being disrupted by terrible acts of abuse than trying to develop new skills off of a less than stable foundation. Not only is it more costly, but it isn't as effective."

It is possible to prevent childhood abuse and neglect before it occurs. When communities come together they can create resources that can help parents learn to cope with stress as well as gain the knowledge, skills, resources and support they need to be able to provide their children with a safe and nurturing home environment. Additionally, communities can offer tools for helping others create awareness for why it is so important to prevent abuse and neglect in your community.

Abilene Behavioral Health is a community-focused hospital and treatment center with an all-encompassing goal of providing superior care to children, adolescents, and adults seeking care for mental health disorders and substance abuse. In order to achieve our goals of individualized, compassionate care, we offer many specialized programs that are built around the different needs of each of our patients. We ensure that each patient has a controlled and structured atmosphere where they can feel safe to begin the recovery process. For more information, visit www.abilenebehavioralhealth.com.

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