National Child Health Day: Giving due importance to mental health of children

The right to good mental health must be available to all, including children of all age groups and races. Experts have felt that providing access to adequate mental health can help in the social and cognitive development of a child.

While the tangible needs of children are understood and can be fulfilled, factors affecting the mental health of children need to be carefully dealt with. The emotional needs of children are not so obvious as their palpable counterparts, thus, one needs to be careful about the environment the children are brought up in. They should be encouraged to learn new skills which would aid in their mental development. The first Monday of October is observed as the “National Child Health Day” to spread awareness about the need to take care of the mental health of children.

To help children lead a productive life, one needs to take care of the myriad factors that affect their mental health. Experiences of abuse and constant negativity can disrupt the normal thinking of children, posing unnecessary obstacles in their all-round mental growth. Such circumstances also help breed emotions of contempt and disgust against people around themselves. Not all mental health problems arise out of environment, some are inherent and a result of anomalies in genetic traits. The basics of good mental health in children can be traced to:

  • wholehearted love and compassion from family members
  • instilling feelings of self-confidence and self-worth
  • avoiding sarcastic remarks in a bid to educate and discipline them
  • equal opportunities to play with other children irrespective of socio-economic differences
  • supportive teachers and promising environment conducive to growth
  • secure surroundings bereft of any nature of physical or mental torture
  • adequate level of guidance and moderate strictness so as to allow the children express their ideas freely without any fear of punishment
  • avoiding tendencies of nagging, physical pain, threats, or bribery
  • encouraging honest conversation with children by sharing experiences of one’s own failures
  • setting realistic goals matched with ambitions and talents of children, while realizing the fact that the same are achievable
  • participation in activities that would help boost feelings of team spirit and encourage them to respect others around themselves
  • monitoring the kind of programs children watch on various electronic devices, while ensuring that the programs they watch either impart knowledge or are for the purpose of fun

Children’s mental health matters

While the conditions affecting physical health can be monitored, it is difficult to keep a tab on factors affecting mental health of children. Mentally ill children need to be felt secure or the condition can further manifest symptoms of depression and incessant anxiety. Such children have a hard time in getting used to the environment around. However, they need to be given timely treatment on the advice of a professional expert.

Mental illnesses aggravate on being left untreated and hence, it is imperative that they are provided the necessary treatments as soon as possible. Before seeking advice of some professional expert, it is necessary to understand the signs of emotional disruptions which children exhibit. The signs of all mental disorders need not be same, but some common manifestations are constant sadness, irritability, incessant anxiety, tendency to be scared, lack of interest in daily activities, or suicidal tendencies.

Avoid delay in treatment

The roots of some disorders have not yet been understood. While some may attribute their occurrence to genetic influences, the progression of certain psychological disorders may be due to some habit that may have developed during childhood or for a prolonged period.

If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of mental disorder, contact the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to find the right line of treatment for mental health illness. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online to get in touch with a mental health specialist and start the journey to recovery today.