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Best Guide on Mental Health Awareness For Children

Deepika Sodhi
Feb 24, 2022
Schools, Learning

Mental health is of utmost importance for the overall development of children. As essential as physical development is for a child’s proper growth, so is mental development. The ability to share their thoughts and feelings is paramount for children as they have to deal with varied situations during their educational journey. 

With all that children face in today’s world, it is important to have this discussion on mental illness in children and give them the attention they need. It will help them grow into happy adults, with faith in their capabilities and the eagerness to achieve their goals.

What is Children’s Mental Health?

When children are mentally healthy, they can reach all the developmental and emotional milestones. They develop social skills which help them adjust well at home, school, and in society, and cope with the  problems they face. Children are considered mentally healthy when they have a positive attitude to life and manage their emotions appropriately. 

Often, children do experience fear and anxiety, or disruptive behaviors. But if these emotions are frequent and disturb their school activities and their life at home, they may be diagnosed with a mental disorder. 

What are common childhood mental disorders?

Some of the common childhood mental disorders are:

● Attention deficit-Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

● Anxiety (Fears and worries)

● Depression

● Conduct disorder

● Obsessive-Compulsive disorder

● Post-traumatic stress disorder

● Oppositional Defiant disorder

Besides these, children also suffer from learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, autism, substance abuse, and self-harm. 

What are the Symptoms of Childhood Mental Disorders?

The symptoms of mental disorders start in early childhood, although some symptoms may develop during the teenage years. Signs of mental disorders may include difficulty with how children behave, speak, learn, express, and handle their emotions. 

Symptoms can be diagnosed during their school years or even earlier. However, in some children, the diagnosis or recognition of the mental disorders may never happen. 

Can Childhood Mental Disorders be Treated?

Early diagnosis of mental disorders helps in getting the child the right treatment and care. Parents should work closely with the mental health specialists and all the others involved in their children’s immediate circle, such as teachers, therapists, coaches, and other family members. 

With the help of medical help and available resources, childhood mental disorders can be treated effectively. 

How Can We Help Children with Mental Health?

Children need support for mental health problems and positive reinforcement to help build their confidence and their personality. It also helps them understand that they are in a safe environment, that they are free to discover the world around them, and that they have their elders’ support while facing any adversity. Besides this, here’s how you can help children with their mental health:

● Show them lots of love and encouragement

● Spend quality time with them, be there for them when they need you.

● Keep the lines of communication open and refrain from passing judgments about their behavior or the decisions they make

● Praise them when they do well, be it in studies or extracurricular activities

● Ask them about their activities, friends, and school life

● Show them how they can solve their problems

● Let them know it’s okay to feel sad or angry. Encourage them to share their feelings and listen to them when they talk

● Teach them how to relax when they are upset

● Help them find someone they can talk to if they don’t feel comfortable talking to you, such as a counselor

● Be aware of the content they view on the television or the internet 

● Be careful while discussing serious matters in their presence

● Be their role model by taking care of your mental health

Why is Children's Mental Health So Important?

The world is far different today. Children have to deal with a very demanding academic life. The chaotic presence of social media and peer pressure adds to the stress, which the children aren’t prepared to handle alone. Without the support and guidance of their elders, children can’t navigate the tough moments they face at school or home. 

The anxiety, worry, fear, and depression they experience often get disregarded, and children are asked to toughen up. So, when they are unable to cope with these emotions and get judged for being honest, they tend to retreat into a shell and display behavioral issues. 

Mental health issues often escalate into mental disorders that last a lifetime. So, to provide children with enough support to express their emotions and deal with challenges, it is important to focus attention on children’s mental health awareness.

What is the impact of mental disorders in children?

Our overall health depends upon the wellbeing of our mental health. Mental disorders last a long time and impact a person’s entire life. 

If children aren’t diagnosed with their mental disorders and provided necessary treatment, it will affect their school life, their personal life, and their social life, too. Mental disorders can affect the child’s normal development and cause issues in their adulthood. 

What You Can Do?

To ensure the mental wellbeing of children, here’s how you, as parents and teachers, can help children’s mental health at school.

Ensure a Positive, Safe School Environment

A safe environment at school helps children thrive. Ensure that every child feels safe at school. Prevent negative behaviors, such as bullying and harassment, and encourage positive behaviors, such as kindness, respect, and responsibility. 

Provide rules of conduct and fair discipline practices and ensure adult presence in every area of the school building. Encourage children to speak against bullying and seek help if they find themselves alone and in a vulnerable position.

Ensure Access to School-Based Mental Health Supports

Counselors, school psychologists, and social workers provide the necessary support for mental health problems to students at schools. They provide timely identification and assessment of any behavioral problems, mental wellness promotion, early intervention, parent training, individual or group counseling, crisis intervention services to students, and ensure their mental wellness. 

Educate Staff, Parents, and Students on Symptoms of and Help for Mental Health Problems

Information and awareness about mental health help reduce the stigma attached to mental illness. The school mental health support staff can provide all the necessary mental health information for parents about symptoms of mental illness, such as withdrawal or decreased social interaction and academic functioning, erratic behavior, or physical complaints. 

This can help sensitize the parents as well as staff, and students towards children with mental health issues or mental disorders and provide them with a safe space and the understanding and kindness they deserve. 

Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals, security professionals, and administrators provide the much-needed crisis-response team for the security of students' mental and physical wellbeing. This team provides intervention and post-intervention services when required. 

Teachers/School Administrators

For concerns regarding children’s mental health issues, teachers or administrators can work alongside families and healthcare professionals to help identify any mental health issues in time and provide appropriate treatment and support.

Conclusion: -

Children’s mental health is an important issue in today’s world. A school must provide them with the necessary support to help deal with the challenges of the modern academic system.  The best school in Ahmedabad provides support for mental health problems to children with the help of school psychologists and counselors. 

This international school near me ensures a safe, positive environment for its students for the benefit of their physical and mental wellbeing and overall development.

Deepika Sodhi

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