Mental health issues have been steadily on the rise over the past few decades, and mental illness remains the leading cause of disability in the U.S., according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It’s important to teach your children about mental health as early as possible, so they can recognize when they or others are suffering from any one of these issues. Here are 8 things you should teach your child about mental health, based on recommendations from a psychiatrist in Bhopal:
1) Understand Mental Illness
While many people have mental health issues, kids need to understand that these issues can be temporary and can often be treated. If your child is experiencing issues such as depression or anxiety, encourage them to seek help from a psychiatrist or other healthcare professional.
2) Know What Resources Are Available
A child psychologist or psychiatrist can help your child establish better coping mechanisms. Psychiatrists are not as common as pediatricians, so you may have to call around to different hospitals to find one, but it’s worth it for your child’s long-term well-being.
3) Learn About Suicide Prevention
Suicide prevention is an important issue to talk about with children. If your child is contemplating suicide, or if a friend is considering suicide, there are several things you can do. First, learn how to recognize warning signs of suicidal behavior and what steps you can take to help prevent it. For example, if your child seems depressed for no obvious reason or starts talking about committing suicide, seek professional help immediately.
4) Learn Basic First Aid
Though you probably won’t need to ever perform CPR on a family member, it’s still a valuable skill to have. And, by understanding how and when to use an epi-pen or bandage someone up, you’ll become that much more prepared should an emergency occur. As parents and teachers of young children, we are responsible for their safety—to protect them from any situation where they could be hurt is part of our job.
5) Mental Illness Is as Real as Physical Illness
There’s no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed of a mental illness. Just like physical illnesses, they are real, they are treatable and it is something you can recover from. Remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health; take care of both equally.
6) Watch for Signs of Trouble in Others
This can be tricky, but it’s important to keep an eye out for mental health issues in people around you. If you notice a friend or family member looking unusually down or troubled, give them a call and see if there’s anything you can do to help them out.
7) Never Use Violence As Punishment
Children are easily mimicked, so it’s important to model healthy ways of interacting with conflict. Not only should you never strike a child, but you should also talk to them about how hitting is not an appropriate way to solve problems, and how it may make them feel. Instead, teach your children techniques for coping with anger—like taking deep breaths or counting backward from ten—so they can use their words instead of their fists when frustrated.
8) Mental Illness Is Not a Moral Failure
Research suggests that one of the mental illness’ biggest deterrents is its stigma. It’s easy to see why: When people believe having a mental illness means you’re weak or immoral, they tend to avoid getting help for fear of being ostracized or judged. But in reality, most illnesses don’t have any correlation with morality. We need to spread awareness that it doesn’t make someone a bad person if they seek help from a psychiatrist in Bhopal.
When all is said and done, mental health is an individual choice. Some people may turn to medication; others may find that therapy works best for them. Still, many mental illnesses are hereditary, meaning if you (or a loved one) have suffered from a mental illness in your family before, there’s a chance someone else in your lineage could too. If you’re concerned that someone you love has a mental illness, ask them how they feel, and get them help.