Humboldt County Public Health and the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital Encourages People to Support Children’s Mental Health during Child Abuse Prevention Month

Humboldt, IA – Humboldt County Public Health, HCMH and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa are joining communities across the state this month in celebrating the importance of social connections and working to strengthen social-wellbeing during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. Agencies and individuals across sectors are encouraged to know the warning signs of children’s mental health issues to support community efforts to improve mental health development for children.  

Mental health is connected to social, emotional, and cognitive development and is a foundation for a healthy life, healthy community, and healthy state. When children’s mental health needs are met, they are more likely to do better in school, graduate, and more likely to be healthy, productive adults in our community.

Caring and supportive relationships are the keys to strengthening social well-being, a primary indicator of overall health and essential factor in preventing child abuse and neglect.

To promote caring connections and strong communities during Child Abuse Prevention Month, Humboldt County Public Health will plant a pin wheel garden outside the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital representing the number of child abuse cases reported in Humboldt County.

“We will be sharing information, statistics and ways to help prevent child abuse on our Facebook page throughout the month of April to bring attention to the simple ways you and I can create caring connections in our community,” said (Christen Sewell, Director of Public Health). “Our children are our future and if we take action not just in April but every day, we can go a long way toward creating stronger communities where abuse and neglect never occur.”

The architecture of a child’s brain is built over time. Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) such as community violence or parental substance abuse can damage brain architecture, but secure, loving relationships, stimulating experiences, and healthy environments can build a solid foundation to support children into adulthood. Health promotion, prevention, and early intervention for children’s mental health needs, particularly when experiencing ACEs, is essential to aid in healthy development.

Social supports and caring connections strengthen families, mitigating the negative outcomes of childhood trauma and reduces the risk of child abuse or neglect. Connected communities have lower crime rates, better physical and mental health, and less money is spent on treating social problems.

The HOPES (Healthy Opportunities for Parents to Experience Success) Program, offered by Public Health, is a voluntary community-based home visitation program for families living in Humboldt County. Families are considered eligible for the HOPES program if they are expecting a child or have a child between the ages of 0-3 years of age. The purpose of HOPES is to help you relieve some of the stress of parenting. Your family support worker will become a person that you can count on to reach your family goals. HOPES services will help you learn about a healthy pregnancy, caring for a new baby, keeping your child healthy, child development, early childhood guidance and discipline, family life skills, and available resources.



About Prevent Child Abuse Iowa/Connections Matter

Since 1975, Prevent Child Abuse Iowa has served its mission of leading child abuse prevention efforts in Iowa by building awareness, providing assistance, and promoting advocacy. It is the only statewide organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and the only consistent voice for child abuse prevention during the state legislative session. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa manages state and federal grant programs that contribute financial support to community groups that provide services to families. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa is based in Des Moines, but has partnerships in nearly every county throughout Iowa. It is an affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America. For more information, call (515) 244.2200, or visit


Contact Information:

Christen Sewell

Humboldt County – Public Health