Falls Church - McLean Children's Center

Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a $15,000 grant from O’Shaughnessy-Hurst Memorial Foundation, Inc. of Leesburg, VA, to provide child and family therapy services to pre-school age children and their parents.

“We are grateful to the trustees of O’Shaughnessy-Hurst Memorial Foundation, Inc. for recognizing the tremendous importance of treating young children who are struggling with emotional and mental health issues, while their minds are still developing. With the appropriate mental health treatment, which for children under age five includes their parents and custodial adults, children can learn coping skills needed to minimize mental health issues as they enter their teens and adulthood. These coping skills also minimize the toll on a child’s physical health that has been identified in people who experience ‘toxic-stress’.”

According to the Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, “toxic stress” is different from the normal stresses of life or the natural response to a dangerous situation. Toxic stress can occur when a child experiences strong, frequent, and/or prolonged adversity, such as physical or emotional abuse, chronic neglect, caregiver substance abuse or mental illness, exposure to violence, or the burdens of living in poverty. A prolonged stress response can disrupt the development a child’s brain and other organ systems and increase the risk for stress-related disease and cognitive impairment, well into their adult years.

“Effective early-intervention helps a child recover from toxic stress quickly and enables him or her to return to the important job of building the skills needed to be ready for kindergarten,” Page said. “Successful therapy also can improve family dynamics, creating a healthy home environment for the entire family.”

The grant is underwriting counseling services provided by McLean Counseling Center at the Children’s Center.

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