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Mental Health Awareness Week: How Children Develop A Sound Mental Health

First Posted: Oct 11, 2016 05:26 AM EDT
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Mental health is significant for the overall well-being of people, especially to children. With the pressure and the junk food diets surrounding your children today, do they manage to have sound minds?

Mental Health Awareness Week is usually observed in the month of October every year. It was founded in 1990 by the U.S. Congress to promote awareness and educate people about mental illness. The mental health advocates and organization in the U.S. have community outreach and educate the public about mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depressive disorder.

It is reported that about 40 million American adults ages 18 and older have the anxiety disorder. In the UK, of the 20,000 people surveyed, there are three in four people said they had symptoms of poor mental health at some point in their lives. Meanwhile, in Australia, about 690,000 people are living with the mental disorder. In India, about 12 percent of children in the aged between 4 to 16 suffer from psychiatric disorders, according to Times of India.

Mental health problems among children and young generation may be triggered by some situations. These include nagging peer pressure, family problems, and breakdowns, easy availability of drugs and alcohol, junk food diets, exam pressure and body image issues projected by media, among others.

Neerja Birla, founder, and chairperson of Mpower for mental health advised the parents to have an open and communicative relationship with their children. These involve conversations about issues, world matters, beliefs and imparting the right knowledge providing the reason. She shares the following tips to make your children have sound mental health:

  •  Dedicate quality time with your children. Show them how significant and valued they are. Engage with their activities sometimes. This will develop the self-esteem of your children.
  •  Build your children's emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions could lead to long-term success and fulfillment. Let your child name their feelings at the early stage of their lives.
  •  Respect your children as an individual. Get to know your children by listening and valuing their emotions, thoughts, and actions. Enhance their curiosity in a way that they will share their thoughts to you.
  •  Be aware of your children's emotional and mental needs. Monitor your children from time to time. If you see them bothered to talk to them and know their needs. Physical needs must be provided by parents so as their emotional and mental needs too. Shower them with love most of all.

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