Children’s Mental Healthholycrosss
Mental health is becoming a more widely talked about subject. This is a good thing – as mental health becomes more talked about and less stigmatized, more people may feel comfortable in getting help. While we’re not totally there yet – lots of progress has been made toward destigmatizing mental health in the last decade. However, there is one topic about mental health that tends to be avoided – children’s mental health.
When talking about mental health, we’re usually talking about mental health in regards to teenagers and adults. However children in America are also dealing with mental health problems. That’s why today, Holy Cross wants to start a conversation about children’s mental health.
Born With It
We’re aware that mental health issues can be both developed later in life, or be something that we are born with. If someone is born with mental health issues, they may go through their entire childhood without anyone knowing about it. This is a huge issue – if mental health issues are caught early enough more can be done to treat it.
The reason why children’s mental health issues often times go unnoticed is because they themselves don’t know that something is wrong. For example, while many children have imaginary friends, children with mental health issues may keep that imaginary friend longer than other children, or may be producing troubling thoughts. However, children aren’t even aware of mental health, so often times they won’t know to speak up.
Signs of Childen’s Mental Health Issues
There are ways that you can tell if your child is facing mental health issues. While they’re not always obvious, there are general warning signs that can let you know. For example, children with mental health issues are more prone to sudden mood changes such as sadness or withdrawal. There are other telling signs such as difficulty concentrating which teachers will often notify the parents about.
Like adults, mental health issues can come with physical symptoms as well. For example, if a child has a mental health condition physical symptoms may appear such as unexplained weight loss, headaches or even self harm. It’s important to keep track of how your child is feeling – while all of these symptoms on their own can happen with any child, know that if these symptoms appear often or are grouped together, it may be a sign of mental health issues.
What To Do
If you suspect that your child has a mental health issue, know that there is help available. This can obviously be a very stressful time for the parents, which is why it’s important to act fast – but not irrationally. Do not show your stress around the child – they can often pick up on their parents’ moods and may make them feel stressed themselves, or that they’ve done something wrong.
If you suspect that your child is suffering from a mental health issue, contact a professional. Contact your child’s doctor and describe the behavior that concerns you. The doctor will be able to decipher what needs to be done.
As mental health continues to become a more widely talked about issue, it’s important that we don’t limit the conversation to only teenagers and adults. We must remember that children can be affected by mental health issues as well. It’s time we all start talking about children’s mental health!