Mental Health Awareness among Children

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Being mentally healthy during childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when problems arise. A mentally healthy child has a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in the community and at school.  

Mental disorders among children are defined as serious changes in the way children behave, learn or handle certain emotions which cause problems or distress when getting through the day. Many children occasionally experience fears and worries or display unruly behaviours. If symptoms are persistent and are interfering with home or school activities, it is important to visit a health specialist for a mental disorder checkup.

Children’s Mental Health

Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. Being mentally healthy in childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones, learning healthy social skills and how to cope and stay resilient when there are problems. Children’s mental health is supported by helpful relationships and environments and can be put at risk by negative experiences and stresses. Social determinants of health, meaning the conditions in the places where children learn, live and play.  

Just like an adult, children also experience struggling with emotions and behaviours as part of growing up and mental health can get worse with time. For some children, struggling with mental health means having symptoms and risk behaviours that are severe enough to meet certain criteria to be classified as mental disorders.

A child showing emotions.

What You Can Do

Parents:

It is good as a parent to keep a close look at your child’s behaviour because it will help you pinpoint when to see a specialist. If your child has certain behavioural changes, whether at school, at home or when interacting with fellow children, then it is a cause of concern.

Health care professionals:

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment based on updated guidelines are very important. There are resources available to help diagnose and treat children’s mental disorders. Moreover, it is important to provide education to parents, guardians and caretakers on how to treat the children in case of behavioural changes.

Teachers/School Administrators:

Early identification is important so that children can get the help they need. Working with families and health care professionals if you have concerns about the mental health of a child in your school will help in providing the appropriate care.

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