FARGO – Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) in Fargo is pleased to announce the launch of two new resources for area parents.
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
The first resource is a recently launched webpage, LearnTheSigns.org. The page is devoted exclusively to raising awareness about the silent epidemic of child sexual abuse.
One in 10 kids will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18, with one in five girls being affected. The effects of this abuse are devastating and long-lasting, accounting for a significant amount of adult depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Because most kids who are abused don’t come forward, it’s essential for all adults in our communities to know the signs of abuse and grooming.
LearnTheSigns.org contains a number of useful resources, including:
- A short evidence-based video curriculum teaching the signs of grooming and how to spot potential child sexual abuse
- A downloadable handbook, which can also be used to help kids identify trusted adults in their life
- A “Pledge to Protect Kids,” which formalizes a caring adult’s intention to protect all kids in their community from sexual abuse
- Contact information for trauma and reporting organizations in Cass and Clay counties
Kids Mental Health
The second resource is another newly launched page, TalkToYourTeen.org. This page was created for use by parents and other caring adults and focuses on youth mental health and suicide prevention.
With the interconnected epidemics of addiction, suicide, and child sexual abuse plaguing our communities, the urgency to act has never been higher. That’s why DMF has partnered with a number of generous, concerned organizations to make the following available on TalkToYourTeen.org:
- Robbie’s Hope Handbook – Produced by kids for parents, this handbook helps adults have more effective conversations with teens about mental health and suicide. Parents can download their own copy or order one.
- “Break the Silence” – This short film produced for the Fargo Police Department and with the support of DMF puts a human face to suicide, chronicling three area families who have been personally affected.
- North Dakota Kids Mental Health Survey – This past summer, DMF and consultant Mark Winkelman distributed a statewide survey to nearly 500 providers, youth-serving organizations, and parents. The results were eye-opening, with nearly 85% of providers saying they believed kids mental health has declined post-pandemic. DMF, Matto Foundation, and 4-6-3 Foundation recently hosted a panel with local experts and parents to discuss potential solutions, a recording of which is available at TalkToYourTeen.org – along with the full survey results.