Discussions around mental health are open and going mainstream with the serious attention they are getting. Adults who understand the importance of good mental health are taking conscious steps to maintain the same. When it comes to kids, healthy mental health is important for their overall physical, emotional, and social development. As childhood is a sensitive and crucial time period when kids are prone to emotional damage, people should make sure that their kids are not struggling mentally. In case any child is struggling mentally, mental health services are important in ensuring that children receive appropriate help, care, and support and their parents the right guidance for how to help their kids.
Caring For Children’s Mental Health
As already mentioned, childhood is a crucial time when parents have to be extra caring, sensitive, understanding, and supportive toward their children. The environment they are growing in and the space they are in from home, to school, to online space and friend circle, and their experiences do contribute and affect their mental health. Violence, bullying, ostracization, poverty, miscommunication, lack of care, too many responsibilities, pressure, and numerous other small as well as big experiences can have different impacts on children. Here are a few ways through which, you can be aware and take care of your child’s mental health:
- By listening to them
- By being there and supporting them in difficult times
- By taking a real interest in them and being involved in their life.
- By encouraging their interest and creativity.
- By not being dismissive and taking them seriously.
- By building positive habits.
Children’s Mental Health And Covid 19
The pandemic was a hard time for everyone. Adults themselves were having a hard time with the virus and its health implications itself, and then the lockdown and its mental implications took it to another level. For children, the pandemic was a time when their schedule turned upside down overnight, they weren’t supposed to meet their friends or go out, and when their own homes turned into confining spaces. Multiple studies and surveys have shown an increase in anxiety disorder and depression in children during and post-pandemic. The silver lining is the issue of the need to look after children’s mental health accelerated and came to the forefront. Also, Covid 19 was a very difficult time for all humans regardless of their age and many families dealt with the loss of their loved ones. It is at times like these, that therapy can help out a lot, be it individual or family therapy sessions.
Warning Signs To Lookout For
Identifying a problem is crucial to find a solution. Identifying bad mental health or other mental health issues in children is crucial to help them by taking the necessary steps. Below are a few signs you can look out for as a warning for bad mental health:
- Sudden change in mood and being consistently sad or irritated or angry.
- Avoid being social, and withdrawing from family, friends, and everyone.
- Lack of appetite, and physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches without a medical explanation.
- Lacking motivation and losing interest in things they previously enjoyed.
- Being tired and lazy.
- Sudden downfall in school performance.
Different Treatment For Children’s Mental Health Issues:
A form of talk therapy, where the therapist identifies and addresses a child’s mental health issue by talking, listening, and understanding the kids and their behavior. It can include one-on-one or group sessions with family. An occupational therapist, psychological therapist, play therapist, or creative art therapist will help in this approach.
It involves diagnosing and treating mental health disorders through clinical and medical management. Psychiatry involves the prescription of medication by children’s well-being practitioners, primary mental health workers, or medical doctors who specialize in mental health.
Mental Health Services For Children
As parents, you are also an individual with your life, and you are not a know-it-all and a can-do-it-all. The same goes for you when it comes to looking after your child’s mental health. You can try to make sure their environment is safe and encouraging but still, sometimes some things are out of control and kids’ mental health ends up getting affected. That’s when Children’s mental health services come into the picture. They are professional and trained workers, who are experts in children’s mental health and are the ones who can help your kid who’s in distress. Here is a list of different mental health services for children that you can go to.
Some schools offer mental health services which can include school counselors, school psychologists, and social workers. These professionals will help in identifying and addressing the mental health issues in children. They might also provide resources and support to the family.
Mental health clinics, community centers, and non-profit organizations come under community-based mental health services. These human services may vary from therapy and psychiatric help to support group sessions.
If you have enough monetary resources then you can seek professional help for your kids on your own. There are many private institutions that specialize in children’s mental health. You can find professional psychiatrists as well as psychologists to help your children.
Mental health is something that should be taken care of regardless of age or gender. While adults may be more prone to developing mental issues due to their highly stressful lives, children are at an equal risk of the same. It is very common for kids to develop various disorders that can affect their growth, emotions, and behavior, stemming from developmental disabilities. The importance of children’s mental health can not be stressed enough. But equally necessary is parents’ mental health as well. You can not help your children if you yourself are struggling as an individual. So, make sure to look out for your own mental health as well.