Approximately one in ten children will suffer from mental health issues either in their pre-adolescent or teen years. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems can arise in a direct response to the events that they are experiencing in their lives.
Becoming a well-rounded, healthy adult requires children to develop mental resilience to the events that life will inevitably throw at them. While most children will respond positively, it befits parents to ensure that their child is in good physical condition and enjoys a healthy household as well.
Prevalence of Mental Health Issues in Children
Studies have shown that roughly half the people who struggle with mental health issues show symptoms by the age of 14. Yet only 20% of those at that age get the help they need. One of the biggest hindrances that children struggling with mental issues face is the belief that no one else relates to their problems.
Children who feel this way will often hide or disguise the true nature of their struggles, making it difficult for parents to correctly assess what is happening. Yet correctly identifying the problems early can lead to quicker, more effective treatment.
How to Help Keep Your Child Mentally Healthy
While there is no way to predict which child out of ten will suffer from mental health issues, there are steps that can be taken to help minimize the chances. Taking such actions can provide your child with the support needed to help them cope with life’s difficulties and avoid negative impacts on mental health.
Strong Family Structure
While every family goes through trials and tribulations, the strong families support and love each other, which make the challenges of life easier to deal with. If a child feels the love and support from their parents, siblings and other members of the family, it can lay the foundation for good mental health.
Good Physical Condition
This means eating balanced meals, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. While all children will grow and their weight many fluctuate from time to time, many studies show that children who are overweight are at higher risk for bullying and early social discrimination.
Let Them Play…Outside
While television, video and computer games are certainly fun, they need to be limited so that children can get outdoors and play. Physical activities such as riding a bike, playing sports and interacting with others is crucial to brain development, and social and emotional health.
The more supportive the school, the easier it is for your child to flourish both academically and socially. Teachers and other school staff should be able to communicate to a parent if any suspicions of a mental health problem in a student arises.
Take Part in Activities
If your neighborhood or school has activities for children, this can be an excellent way to encourage them socialize and interact with others. Such activities can also help keep children in shape, both physically and mentally.
An atmosphere of love and trust can go a long way towards supporting children who otherwise might slip into a state of anxiety, depression or other negative place. If a parent suspects their child may be having some mental or emotional troubles, it is important to seek help. People are eager to pursue treatment when there is a physical problem, and we need to be equally proactive when we presume a mental problem is present as well.
For some good mental health resources, follow the link: http://www.caminar.org/what-we-do/resources.html
For information regarding the mental health services that we provide, please visit www.caminar.org.