Mental health concerns aren’t just adult problems. However, many young people who are struggling with their mental health never receive proper care. For example, about 59.8% of young people in America with major depression don’t receive any mental health treatment, according to Mental Health America. This statistic proves that it’s vital to educate your kids about this topic so they can seek help if they need it. If you’re unsure how to begin this process, check out these tips for guidance.
1. Educate Them About Mental Health Terms
Kids should understand terms like depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related words. You can also discuss professionals that work in the field who might be able to help them, like a local psychiatrist. You can teach them by talking about these topics and offering books and online resources that explain mental health in a way that is age-appropriate.
2. Model Mental Health Conversations
Modeling conversations about mental health can show children that it’s an important topic to discuss openly rather than something to be ashamed of. This will prepare them to open up about their mental health and encourage them to speak up if they think someone else might be having difficulty.
3. Help Them Identify Triggers
Identifying triggers is an important component of managing mental health. Some people may have certain events or situations that can instigate episodes of depression, anxiety, or other issues. Teaching your kids about these triggers and warning signs can empower them to recognize when they need to take a step back from a situation and ask for assistance.
4. Encourage Self-Care
Self-care is essential for mental health. Talk to kids about strategies that can care for their emotional well-being. Kids should know it’s good to take time for themselves and do things they find calming or enjoyable. By understanding how sleep, nutrition, and physical activity are connected to mental well-being, kids can protect their mental and emotional health with their daily routines.
5. Seek Professional Help
If you sense that your child might need professional assistance, offer to set up an appointment with a psychiatrist. It’s important to discuss these resources in an open manner so they know they can use them without judgment.
Today’s kids have more mental health stressors than ever before. From cyberbullying to dealing with the effects of a pandemic, American youth have many potential triggers. Starting these conversations about mental health early ensures they have the tools and resources they need. Contact us at SouthEnd Psychiatry so a psychiatrist can help today.