Mental health of a child is a very important part of his/her overall health. Mental Health has a complex relationship with the physical well being and his ability to work at home, school or in society. As quoted by Kate Middleton :”A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health and deserves the same quality of support.” Both physical and mental health plays an essential role in maintaining their overall health. Children need to have a good mental health status to live their life with full potential and a life with positive experiences and be willing to do the best in their life.
Children need to have a good mental health status if they are going to live up to their full potential and truly live a life that is filled with positive experiences and the willingness to do what is best for themselves and the people around them. There are a plethora of things you can do to keep your child’s mental health active. The list of such things include:
- being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
- having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
- being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
- going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils
- taking part in local activities for young people.
Other factors that are also important are:
- feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
- being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
- a person who is hopeful and optimistic
- being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed
- accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at
- having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community
- feeling they have some control over their own life
- having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems.
MENTAL DISORDERS IN CHILDREN
Most children develop some mental disorders while they learn to behave and how to handle their emotions and this can cause distress and problems. Mostly things that happen to children don’t lead to mental health problems on their own, but traumatic events can trigger problems for children and young people who are already vulnerable. Children mostly develop mental disorders during their teenage as their mind and body is developing during this time. Some young people find it hard to make this transition to adulthood and may experiment with alcohol, drugs or other substances that can affect mental health. There are a various factors that can lead to problem in the mental health of your child, which includes:
- having a long-term physical illness
- having a parent who has had mental health problems, problems with alcohol or has been in trouble with the law.
- experiencing the death of someone close to them
- having parents who separate or divorce
- having been severely bullied or physically or sexually abused
- living in poverty or being homeless
- experiencing discrimination, perhaps because of their race, sexuality or religion
- acting as a carer for a relative, taking on adult responsibilities
- having long-standing educational difficulties.
There are various mental health problems that can affect children and young people which are:
- Self Harm
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Post traumatic Stress Disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Eating Disorders
Children with mental health disorders may experience many signs and symptoms that can let you know that they are having a certain mental disorder. The symptoms are:
- Poor school performance
- Persistent Boredom
- Frequent complaints of having headaches or stomachaches
- Appetite problems
- Behaviors returning to younger age such as bed wetting, throwing tantrums or becoming clingy
- Showing less concern for their own safety
DIAGNOSING AND TREATING MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS
A doctor diagnosis a specific mental disorder by looking at the signs and symptoms and how that condition is affecting that child on daily basis. There are no specific tests in order to determine what is wrong. It is generally diagnosed by psychiatric, psychologist, counselors or behavioral therapists. Consulting them will help you know the treatments for your disorders. Some of the treatments include:
1: Play therapy
2: Art therapy
3: Animal-assisted therapy
4: Applied Behavior Analysis
- Parental Care
- Professional help
PREVENTING CHILD’S MENTAL HEALTH AT HOME
Parents play a very important role in building up the mental well-being of a child. Children should have a warm relationship with the parents, so that the children find it easy to share their problems with them. One of the most important ways parents can help is to listen to them and take their feelings seriously. They may want a hug, they may want you to help them change something or they may want practical help.
The involvement of supportive adults, strong family and peer relationships, healthy coping skills, and emotional regulation can make it easy to cope up with the mental disorders of your children at home and in an easy way. Its time to make your child feel free to share anything with you at anytime. Additionally, school environment can also play a very important role in shaping up your child’s mental health. Parent can share this problem with the concerned teachers so that they can help your child to easily recover with the problem.
RELATED: Know about the mental healthcare act.