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A Healthy Future For All

CHICAGO, IL, December 31, 2013 – The playing field in our country just got a bit more level for access to mental health services. The new budget deal that recently passed Congress will have $100 million earmarked specifically towards expanding the use of innovative tools and effective practices to increase access to mental health services.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, there are approximately 57 million people in America today who are suffering with mental health issues that impact their ability to be successful in school or on the job. These struggles aren’t just felt by the person experiencing it though; mental health issues affect family life greatly and can also affect the way that people interact with their children. This in turn can undermine the learning process and healthy child development in enormous ways.

In this way, we see how mental health issues affect not only the person suffering from them, but their family and community as well. And in this way, we see how this budget deal and the commitment to improving access to mental health treatment will make a difference in the lives of countless people nationwide.

According to the NIMH, the average cost of mental health services per person is $1,591. Numbers like that illustrate that this current deal can begin to help 63,000 Americans. This is a good start and a tremendous step in the right direction, and we look forward to unique and innovative ways in the community and corporate sectors as well as the government sector to take care of the other 57 million people who need help too. Government cannot be the sole supporter of essential services like mental health care.

Still, we’re pleased that someone suffering with anything ranging from substance abuse to schizophrenia will be able to get the help they need. We’re even more pleased about the healthy future that will come of it.

“We applaud the Administration for taking this important step towards the goal of raising the healthiest children and families possible and the congressional approval of the budget,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Mental health is a critically important issue facing all people in this country, but one that has special impact for children and families. We know, for example, that the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that lost productivity due to mental health issues costs the nation $63 billion per year. This initiative will help redirect that lost cost into our communities which will help them thrive, and with healthier communities, there will be healthier children, and a better future for the nation.”



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Prevent Child Abuse America, its VA and MD Chapters to Celebrate Great Childhoods at ‘National Pinwheel Garden’ on National Mall

Prevent Child Abuse America, its VA and MD Chapters to Celebrate Great Childhoods at ‘National Pinwheel Garden’on National Mall

General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Sigma Delta Tau,  Kappa Delta and Chartwells K12 to Partner on October 13th event

CHICAGO, IL October 7, 2015 – On Tuesday, October 13, Prevent Child Abuse America and its Virginia and Maryland chapters will celebrate the great childhoods that all children deserve with a “National Pinwheel Garden” at 11:00am ET near the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The pinwheel, derived from Prevent Child Abuse America’s Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, is the symbol for child abuse prevention, introduced by the organization nationally in 2008.

The public and members of event partners General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Sigma Delta Tau, Kappa Delta and Chartwells K12 are being invited to celebrate the people who helped them enjoy great childhoods by having pinwheels planted in their honor in the National Pinwheel Garden.

Individuals can purchase and dedicate pinwheels at through Monday, October 12. On Tuesday, October 13, the pinwheels will be planted on the National Mall.

“The pinwheel allows us to engage people in a new way,” said Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO James M. Hmurovich. “It provides us with an engaging device to move beyond merely making people aware of child abuse prevention, but motivating them to take action on its behalf. From acts big and small, from providing busy parents with a break to signing onto letters to Congress, each of us can, and must, play a role in ensuring great childhoods for our nation’s children. This event in the nation’s capital is one more way to convey that message to the country.”

The National Pinwheel Garden is part of a nationwide series of pinwheel-themed events staged by Prevent Child Abuse America and its 50 state chapters throughout the year to promote the actions we can all take to help ensure great childhoods for all children. 

Jared Fogle and the Roles We Can All Play in the Lives of Children

Jared Fogle and the Roles We Can All Play in the Lives of Children

CHICAGO, IL, August 21, 2015 – When we hear stories like that about former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle who has been charged with child pornography and child prostitution, it can be shocking. It can cause confusion. It can cause anger. And these reactions make sense.

However, we can’t allow these reactions to prevent us from taking action, because at Prevent Child Abuse America we know – and the research shows – that there are steps that each of us can take that can help prevent a situation like this from happening in the future.

At Prevent Child Abuse America we believe that all children deserve great childhoods because our children are our future. This seems like such a simple sentiment, but it drives our work every day, because it speaks to the many things that we want for our children – all children – and our nation: healthy, productive adults who have a positive impact on the communities they live in.

We’re sure that you want that too, but at the same time recognize that it is often difficult to act without knowing what to do. In light of this story, we’ve compiled some ideas on how you can make a difference in the lives of children and families in your community, and help you turn your natural feelings of anger or confusion into positive and proactive steps that can make a difference.

For parents, please note that the children in this story appear to have been accessed on-line, and so parents, you must be conscientious in monitoring your children’s on-line use. To quote the Six Pillars for Prevention from National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, “Today’s children and youth have never known a world that is not filled with technology. Since technology is now an integral part of all our daily lives, parents must be diligent in who can access our children and youth.”

For ideas about how to do this, you can use resources like “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” from the FBI.

For our communities, we must work together to end the demand for children as sexual commodities. Rather than responding after the harm and focusing on how to reduce risk for potential victims, we have to identify factors that feed demand for children to be viewed as sexual objects in mainstream media, takes away barriers to sexually abusing/exploiting children, makes it easier to access child sexual abuse images or children/teens depictions in pornography and/or children to buy to sexually exploit.

And for our legal system, we must attend to child victims of sex trafficking as victims, not sex workers. Children, by definition are developmentally incapable of giving consent, even if they think they did. They are victims and deserve to be treated as such. The adults who exploited them must be held accountable and the children offered the help they deserve.

On this final point, we want to be clear: we should not be prosecuting kids who are victims, and many states have passed Safe Harbor laws to avoid doing just that. You can learn more about these laws at the American Bar Association.

“As we work at Prevent Child Abuse America to prevent the abuse and neglect of children before it can ever occur,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America, “we look at strategies that can involve everyone from individuals and families to communities and law makers. This troubling story of Jared Fogle has lessons for all of these areas, and in all of these areas there are roles we can, and must, play.”

Announcing Anita Odom as Senior Director of Chapter Services

Announcing Anita Odom as the Senior Director of Chapter Services

Prevent Child Abuse America is pleased to announce the addition of Anita Odom to The National Office Team beginning September 14, 2015. She will assume the responsibilities of the Senior Director of Chapter Services.

Anita is a well-known and respected member of our organization having served as the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida for the past four years. Thanks to her work with the Ounce of Prevention Fund and the Prevent Child Abuse chapter in Florida, Anita is experienced and knowledgeable of chapter network operations. Her “can-do” attitude will serve all of us well in this new role.

Anita is a graduate of Janus Pannonius University in Hungary, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Educational Administration. She is also a graduate of Florida State University, Cum Laude, with a B.S. in Sociology. Prior to beginning her career with the Ounce of Prevention Fund in 2004, Anita worked as a Program Assistant and then Program Coordinator for the National Philharmonie in Hungary.

In addition to serving as the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida, Anita is also familiar with our Healthy Families America program thanks to her time working as the Healthy Families Plus Program Coordinator in Florida from September 2006 to September 2011.

Please join me in welcoming Anita to the Prevent Child Abuse America National Office. Anita can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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