Childhood Mental Health: Why It Matters

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and children who experience mental health challenges may face difficulties in all areas of their life, (including learning in school, socializing, and future paths they aim to achieve.)

What is children’s mental health?

Children’s mental health refers to a child’s overall emotional and psychological well-being. It includes their ability to cope with daily stressful situations, form healthy relationships, and handle challenges as they arise. Healthy connections between family, friends and others supports our sense of wellbeing and mental health. When such needs are not met, this can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness. Just like adults, children can experience such mental health problems and disorders, and it is important to address these issues early on in life.

There are a variety of signs that a child may be experiencing mental health problems including:

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or anxiety
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Difficulty concentrating or completing tasks.
  • Aggressive or disruptive behaviour
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns.
  • Self-harm or thoughts of suicide

   How you can support your child’s mental health

Listen to them:

 One of the most important things you can do is to simply listen to your child and offer them support. Let them be aware that you are there for them, and that you care about what they are going through.

Encourage them to express their feelings:

 Encourage your child to talk about their thoughts and feelings. This can help them work through their emotions and can also give you a better understanding of what they are going through.

Promote a healthy lifestyle:

Encourage your child to engage in physical activity, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep. These habits can all contribute to better mental health.

Seek professional help:

 If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. They can provide a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan to help your child overcome their challenges.

Be a positive role model:

 Children learn by example, so it’s important to model positive mental health habits yourself. This includes taking care of your own emotional and psychological well-being, and seeking help when you need it.

Connect with your child:

Moments of child-parent connections are important in constructing a good relationship. While spending time with your child, such as car journeys, try to give them your full attention, listen to what they have to say about their family, friends. The more you learn about your child’s world, the more connected you will feel towards him/her.