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May is when Americans recognize the service and sacrifice members of the military and their families have made—and continue to make—for their country.  

Introduced by Senator John McCain and designated by Congress in 1999, Military Appreciation Month provides opportunities for Americans to honor and remember those who serve and have served—and recognize and thank those who support them.   

2022 observations include: 

May 1: Loyalty Day is a time to reflect on American heritage  

May 6: Military Spouse Appreciation Day pays tribute to the partners who support service members   

May 13: Children of Fallen Patriots Day raises awareness of the struggles facing children of fallen service members  

May 21: Armed Forces Day honors those in all branches who are currently serving 

May 30: Memorial Day provides a time to pause and remember the service members who sacrificed their futures to ensure ours 

May is also Month of the Military Caregiver, which recognizes the people who care for more than two million veterans.  

During the month of May, many organizations give back to those who are active military or have previously served. Here is a list of businesses that are offering Military Appreciation Month discounts.  

Families, caregivers, active servicemembers, veterans, and retirees face unique circumstances that may require your assistance, and PAR has developed a range of products to help you meet these needs, including the DAPS, the PSS, and the TSI-2 (to assess symptoms of PTSD); the PAS, the PAS-O, and PAI (to evaluate for a broad range of symptoms, including anxiety and depression); and the SDS (to assist veterans with postmilitary careers).  

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According to Mental Health America, 60.3% of youth in the U.S. with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment. In the 2022 report, Nevada, Idaho and Arizona had the highest prevalence of mental illness and lowest rates of access to care. Curious how your state ranks in comparison? You can access the youth data chart here.  

As a PAR customer, you know the crucial role mental health plays in the development of children. It’s in that spirit that we recognize National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on Saturday, May 7. 

Started by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) more than a decade ago, the purpose of the event is to highlight  the importance of  the mental health needs of children and reinforce the concept that mental health is a key element in a child’s development.  

How is this accomplished? Nationwide, more than 1,100 communities and 170 organizations get involved by taking part in community and virtual events, health fairs, youth-oriented educational programs, and social media interactions.  

Children will always need help with various challenges, including behavioral, mental, social–emotional, interpersonal, adjustment, and learning difficulties. Visit the PAR school resources page to learn more about our most popular assessments and tools. 

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Since 1970, the U.S. has had 1,316 school shootings—18% of which occurred after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in 2012. In almost every case, the shooter exhibited warning signs beforehand. And in four out of five cases, at least one other person knew about the plan but did nothing to stop it.  

The Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club, a student-led initiative of Sandy Hook Promise, works year-round to enact change by educating and empowering youth, engaging communities through prevention efforts, and empowering hope through positive peer influences.    

One of those programs is National Youth Violence Prevention Week (NYVPW), an annual effort that brings students, parents, educators, business leaders, and more together to raise awareness about youth violence and get communities involved in making schools and neighborhoods safer.  

Observed April 25 to 29 this year, NYVPW encourages businesses, government, media outlets, schools, and community organizations, along with parents, teachers, and youth, to get involved and take a stand against violence.  

A free Youth Leader Action Kit provides inspiration and ideas for a week of activities that inspire others to educate and inform, encourage respect and inclusion, empathize and connect, empower change, and more.   

When educators. clinicians, and school psychologists have questions about risk of violence in children and adolescents, PAR tools help them find answers. The Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY), the Psychosocial Evaluation & Threat Risk Assessment (PETRA), and the Adolescent Psychopathology Scale (APS) provide information about a range of concerns to help inform follow-up and intervention—and ultimately help prevent violence.   

 

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April is Autism Acceptance Month, a time to not only recognize, but to open up and accept individuals with autism.  

Up until last year, this had been referred to as Autism Awareness Month. The Autism Society of America suggested by the name change to encourage people to move beyond awareness and into acceptance of those affected by autism. This change in mindset can help drive positive changes for individuals and families affected by autism.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 44 children are diagnosed with autism. More than 7 million people in the U. S. are on the autism spectrum across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. There is a growing need for first responder training and employer advocacy programs. For more information regarding these and other types of autism support, please visit the Autism Society.  

If you’re treating a child you suspect may have ASD or another developmental disorder, remember that PAR has products to assist you, such as the PDD Behavior Inventory™ (PDDBI™), the PDDBI-Screening Version, and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Second Edition (BRIEF2).   

There are additional free resources on the PAR Training Portal for those who specialize in assessing and treating autism or other learning disorders. Located under the Achievement/Development header, you can find a recorded webinar on how to use the PDD Behavior Inventory (PDDBI) on PARiConnect as well as an interactive course on the PDDBI family of products.  

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March 6–12 is National School Social Work Week. Sponsored by the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA), this event provides an opportunity to acknowledge and recognize the impactful work that schools and community resource partners do to support students, families, and others in their communities.  

This year’s theme is “Time to Shine.” SSWAA believes that school social workers shine brightly for their students, families, and school communities by shining hope, shining understanding, and shining respect. "School social workers are humble professionals,” said Rebecca Oliver, LMSW, SSWAA Executive Director, “who often are the voice for students and families but do not always voice the value they add to the school community. School social workers shine a light on the need for mental health services, offering hope for students and families who face various challenges, and lighting the way for marginalized youth.”   

PAR is happy to offer several items to help support the important work of school social workers. Our school assessment resources page houses relevant instruments Including the Feifer Assessment of Childhood Trauma: Teacher Form (FACT Teacher Form), and the PAR Training Portal offers free, on-demand training and additional resources.  

 

 

 

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President Joe Biden recently addressed a topic that PAR has focused on for many years—children’s mental health.  

“Let’s take on mental health,” he said during his State of the Union Address March 1. “Especially among our children, whose lives and education have been turned upside down.” 

Though we have long recognized this need, it has escalated drastically in recent years as a result of the pandemic, which has seen levels of childhood trauma, anxiety, depression, and more increase and academic performance decrease.  

A recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control shows that pediatric emergency department visits by children and adolescents for mental health concerns have increased since 2020, with issues such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma, and stress-related disorders on the rise.   

One of our overarching goals as a company is to help professionals like you reach these children and get them the help they need. This is part of the reason why we offer regular continuing education webinars designed to keep you up-to-date on new instruments and research as well as a 24/7 free, on-demand Training Portal, where you can access interactive courses, author videos, and other resources, including several presentations that address childhood trauma, such as Trauma and COVID-19: What School Professionals Can Do to Help: Utilizing the FACT to Guide Interventions; Pandemics, Trauma, and Emotional Disturbance; and more.  

We also have a wide range of products to meet the needs of America’s children. From measuring stress and trauma in school-based settings, identifying possible victims of trauma, screening for depressive symptoms and suicidality and much more, we have the instruments you need to help children get help—and get back on a path to healing, health, and happiness. Learn more about our resources for students.  

Not sure where to start? Visit our mental health resources page to find what you need.

 

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The results of PAR’s seventh annual Pay it Forward program are in!  

Each year, we ask our customers to choose a charity from a short list of deserving organizations. This culminates in PAR donating $5,000 on behalf of our customers to the charity that receives the most votes.  

This year’s selected charity is: Family Promise!

Family Promise is the leading national nonprofit organization addressing the issue of family homelessness. Their mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.  

To our customers who participated, thank you for helping us Pay it Forward. 

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In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed an annual observance of International Day of Persons With Disabilities. Since that time, this day has been dedicated to promoting the rights and well-being of individuals with disabilities, increasing awareness of people with disabilities, and furthering the rights of those with disabilities in every political, social, economic, and cultural sphere. 

The theme for this year, “Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era,” recognizes that people who live with disabilities are among the most affected populations from this pandemic—with an increase in poor outcomes, reduced access to health care, lack of mental health resources, and inadequate emergency services for those with special needs. The pandemic brought to light the need to make meaningful investments in communities and services that reduce the barriers that individuals with disabilities face. 

Learn more about International Day of Persons With Disabilities as well as initiatives from the World Health Organization

 

 

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November 8–12 celebrates the important work of school psychologists. This year, the theme of the week is “Let’s Get in GEAR,” with GEAR standing for a challenge to grow, engage in best practices, advocate for access, and rise despite challenges. 

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has put together a list of activities to help commemorate this week. 

  • Engage in advocacy. Whether you want to reinforce the importance of school psychology on a local or national level, NASP provides easy ways to do so.  

  • Get the word out on social media. Whether you are active on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, NASP provides some sample text and images you can use to get the word out on any platform. Use the hashtag #SchoolPsychWeek. 

School psychologists—thank you for all you do to help schools, students, staff, and communities to thrive! 

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Each year, the first full week in October is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Established by Congress in 1991, this week raises awareness, fights discrimination, and educates the public on mental illnesses.  

The theme for this year is “Together for Mental Health,” with a focus on advocating for better care for individuals facing serious mental illness and improving mental health care and crisis response. 

There are events throughout the week of October 3–9, 2021: 

Tuesday, October 5: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding 

Thursday, October 7: National Depression Screening Day 

Saturday, October 9: NAMIWalks United Day of Hope 

Sunday, October 10: World Mental Health Day 

 

There are a number of ways to get involved: 

  • Learn: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will be sharing personal stories of people living with mental illness each day on their blog

  • Share: It’s important to bust the stigma around mental illness. NAMI provides downloadable graphics you can use on your social media to raise public awareness. 

  • Walk: You can take part in NAMIWalks from virtually anywhere. Check out the list of in-person and virtual events. 

  • Screen: Mental Health America offers online screening for many mental health concerns. If you think you or someone you know may be at risk, these can provide a quick way to determine if more in-depth assessment is needed. 

One in 5 adults will experience mental illness each year. It is important that we all do our part to promote awareness and understanding this week and throughout the year! 

 

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