Understanding Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is celebrated the first week of May. The campaign is a yearly event geared to raising awareness and highlighting the critical need for mental health care reform in our country, specifically for children. It is obvious that we need to increase efforts to prevent and identify early mental health challenges so we can prevent and intercept mental illness. This effort requires full family engagement, along with policy leaders and health practitioners helping to support families so that kids are enabled to be resilient.

The Green Ribbon Campaign is part of the social marketing and awareness effort by the organization to celebrate kids, and the hope is that great strides are being made in highlighting the issues and promoting awareness in communities across the nation.

The goal is to instigate change in how individuals deal with mental health issues.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2017’s national focus is on the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth, and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders. The 2017 national theme is “Partnering for Help and Hope.” Children are subject to a variety of mental problems. If these are left untreated, the effects on their health and overall well-being can be negative. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week was created due to the staggering statistic that 1 in every 5 children have a mental disorder. During this week we encourage everyone to raise their voice and speak about this problem.

Mental disorders in children are abundant, and any child can be affected. The mental disorders can range from anxiety and depression to many other symptoms. Children need to grow up in an environment where there is love, trust and understanding. Absence of these can lead to mental problems.  However in some situations, children are born with these disorders.

Signs of Mental Disorders in Children

While you almost certainly know when your child has a cough or a fever, it is difficult to tell when they have a mental disorder. So you might think they are having a bad day or simply not in a pleasant mood. But these problems can get much worse with time and may lead to serious problems later in life. And it is imperative you spot the signs early on and seek help.

Here are some common signs:

  • Avoiding socializing with others
  • Decrease in school grades
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Constantly worrying about things
  • Having difficulties sleeping
  • Losing appetite
  • Attempting to injure themselves
  • Hearing things others are not

So if you notice any of these, take action immediately. Ignoring these can have serious consequences.

There are some examples of these consequences:

  • Having difficulties keeping or making friends
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Suicide
  • Drug abuse
  • Family conflicts

Treatment of Mental Disorders in Children

Figuring out if your child has a mental disorder is the first step in the right direction. But the good thing is, it is fairly easy to get help from a specialist. Usually, a range of psychotherapy methods are used to treat and test for mental disorders in children. In addition, there is information that will help you take care of your child should you find they have a mental disorder. Studies have shown that children who grow up with mental disorders will likely experience these behaviors with their children, so getting treatment is the only way to prevent this and guarantee that your child will live a normal and vibrant life.

Purpose of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

For the body to function as a single system, a person needs to be in the right state of mind. However, many of us do not think about our mental health on a regular basis, let alone that of our children. The purpose of this week is to put an end to this; it is meant to make people more aware of mental disorders in the same way as we think of other illnesses. Our voices collectively have the power to make this much-needed change, and that is the main reason we are urging people to participate during the week.

During this week you are encouraged to attend events and learn more about mental disorders in children. Once you have increased your knowledge, be sure to help others by sharing your knowledge about this week. Knowledge is power!!

~Monretta Vega, LPC

Monretta Vega, LPC

Email: monretta@hsvpcs.com

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