According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), one in six children ages two through eight years has a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or development disorder. Diagnoses increase as children get older. Although this number may seem high, Perkins School for the Blind explains that this is a positive statistic, since it means that many children are receiving an appropriate diagnosis, with support, for their mental health. To help make your child’s mental health a priority, Perkins offers four tips, including:
1) Be an example for your children by reaching out for help if you need it;
2) When children voice concerns or shows “signs for distress,” take them seriously;
3) “Make mental wellness and self care a family affair.”
4) Learn the distinctions between sadness and depression by reaching out to professionals.
Perkins points out that “Just like we need care for the different areas of the body, our brains need just as much attention.” Learn more by checking their social media, with this link to their Instagram page on “May is #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth!”
Resources cited that can be helpful to all ages are:
– NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Health), where the #MoreThanEnough campaign has been launched to help everyone “come together and remember the inherent value we each hold—no matter our diagnosis, appearances, socioeconomic status, background, or ability.” Find out about the More Than Enough Mental Health Month campaign here.
– Project AWARE, building on or expanding the capacity of State Mental Health Agencies that oversee school-aged youth. Learn about Project AWARE here.
– Mental Health America, which offers a free toolkit related to mental health to support students, businesses, and organizations.