Why kid’s mental health is important
Having a good mental health is the key to healthy development and wellbeing of every child. Kids need good mental health not only to be able to deal with challenges and adapt to changes, but also become confident, build healthy relationships and enjoy life. Good mental health allows children to think clearly, develop socially and learn new skills .It helps them develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well rounded individuals.
Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others" 50% of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14 and 75% occur by the mid 20s. Neuropsychiatric conditions are the leading cause in many regions. This disorder or condition negatively affect one’s ability to learn work and emotionally cope. Most common among them are addictions, degenerative diseases, disorders related to eating, sleeping and overall mood.
So rather than telling a child to “toughen up”, we should assist them to cultivate positive emotions. Here are some ideas to promote child’s mental health and wellbeing through a loving and supportive relationship:
- Tell your child you love them and express that through your body language and non-verbal communication.
- Use a positive, constructive and consistent approach to guide your child’s behaviour.
- Make time everyday to talk and listen to your child.
- Enjoy time with your child doing activities they like; your child needs more of your “presence” than your “presents”
- Work on positive ways to solve problems and manage conflicts within family members.
- Help your child learn how to solve problems so that they develop the skills to do this for themselves when they are older.
- Encourage your child to connect with others in the community
- Have family rules about behaviour and involve your child in developing rules and consequences, rules and boundaries help children of all ages feel safe and secure.
- Encourage your child to try new things, take age-appropriate risks, and learn from their mistakes.
If you are concerned that your child is showing signs of poor mental health, it’s best to seek professional help as soon as possible. Through various treatment options like Psychotherapy (talk therapy), medications, family counselling, support from parents etc will help your child to get back to track before the situation worsens.
“A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health and deserves the same quality of support”
...Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge