Why is it necessary to discuss children’s mental well-being?
Mental health problems can affect how a child feels, thinks, and behaves. They can also impact a child’s physical health and wellbeing. It is important to remember that children’s mental health problems are usually temporary and can be successfully treated.
If mental health problems are not recognized and treated early, they can have a lasting impact on a child’s development, education, and future prospects. Therefore, it is important to talk about mental health with children and to get help if you are worried about a child’s mental health.
- Children may get their information about mental health from unreliable sources.
- Mental health disorders are often portrayed inaccurately in the media.
- When parents and children have open and honest conversations, children feel more comfortable asking questions without being judged.
- Parents can provide support and guidance to help their children develop healthy coping strategies.
- Children who feel supported are more likely to reach out for help when they need it.
What is stigma, and how does it influence mental health?
Mental health stigma can have a negative effect on people’s lives by preventing them from seeking treatment.
- Almost half of the children who struggle with a mental health disorder do not receive the care and support they need.
- For children and families who do not have a diagnosable mental health issue, good mental health includes the presence of healthy habits.
- Stigma can prevent children and families from talking about, exploring and addressing any feelings they have, which is an important part of raising healthy, resilient kids.
What are the most common stigmas surrounding mental health, and how can we address them?
Mental health is often misunderstood. People with mental health disorders are often seen as weak, lazy, or incompetent. This is not the case. Mental health disorders are just that-disorders. They are medical conditions that need to be treated with care and compassion. Just because someone has a mental health disorder does not mean they are any less capable of leading a happy, successful life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, know that there is hope. Mental health disorders are treatable and many people go on to lead happy healthy lives. Do not let the stigma surrounding mental health keep you from getting the help you need.
The public stigma surrounding mental health can lead to self-stigma and decreased help-seeking. Examples of thoughts guided by self-stigma include:
- I am weak because I have a mental health disorder.
- I am crazy and need to be fixed.
- I am embarrassed and ashamed of my mental health disorder.
- I will never be able to recover from my mental health disorder.
These thoughts can prevent someone from seeking out the help they need to get better. They may feel like they are not worth treatment or that they will never get better. This is not true. Mental health disorders are treatable and many people go on to live happy, successful lives.
What can we do to help individuals with mental health problems?
- Educate yourself and your family about mental health. Know the facts.
- Use person-first language when talking about mental health. For example, say “my brother has schizophrenia” instead of “my brother is schizophrenic.”
- Talk about mental health in a way that is respectful and non-judgmental.
- Be open to talking about your own mental health experiences. This can help normalize the conversation for others.
- Encourage family members to seek professional help if they are struggling with their mental health.
- Seek professional help if you are struggling to cope with a family member’s mental health disorder
By talking about mental health in the right way, families can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. This can lead to more family members getting the help they need.
Now that you have learned about the different types of mental health stigma and how they can negatively affect people, it is important to take a stand against them. You can do this by talking openly and honestly about mental health with your friends and family. Use person-first language when talking about mental health disorders, and be open to sharing your own experiences. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, seek professional help. By taking these steps, you can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and make it easier for people to get the help they need.