As it is for adults, mental health is a vital component of kids’ overall health and well-being.
During the pandemic, kids have faced additional stress (such as wearing a mask, remote school, lack of in-person play with friends) in addition to the typical child and adolescent stressors.
With mental health issues among children on the rise, many parents are looking for help identifying issues and treating their kids’ mental health.
But who should parents ask for help? How can parents create a special connection with their kids? What’s the best way to approach a sensitive situation? How can a parent tell whether their child’s mental health challenge is serious?
In episode 22, host Mark Gomez, MD, and his guests, Jyoti Shah, DO, and Susy Francis Best, PsyD, MBA, have an important conversation about mental health and the role parents can play in helping their kids develop and maintain a healthy mental outlook.
Myths vs. Facts
“Children do not experience mental health challenges.” – Myth
Kids can experience mental health challenges, just like adults.
“Feeling depressed, hopeless, anxious and angry may be signs your child could benefit from more support.” – Fact
Behavioral changes you may notice in your kids are probably indications they need some extra support. Irritability is a common symptom that may present in kids.
“Social isolation can lead to increased suicide risk for young people.” – Fact
When they don’t spend time with other kids and work on positive social interactions, children can isolate themselves and it can lead to suicide.
“It is good to allow your child to experience distress and failure.” – Fact
It’s healthy and normal to experience failure. It helps build resilience and skills children need to manage failure as they grow.
“Taking a child to therapy is a waste of time.” – Myth
Not just taking them but going with them and participating will help your child see that they’re not the problem.
“Guidance exists on ways to best support your child and help them build resilience.” – Fact
There are a multitude of support options available to help parents determine how to help their children build resilience.
“Adolescents and young adults may try to hide their struggles because of fear, shame or a sense of responsibility to avoid burdening others.” – Fact
They want to look perfect. Kids can pick up that their parents are stressed and they don’t want to add another problem. It can be difficult for them to admit that life is more than they can handle.
“Prevention does not work. It is impossible to prevent mental illness in children and youth.” – Myth
There are ways we can help prevent mental health struggles--and alleviate the severity of the symptoms. Regular, safe, open communication is the key.
Listener healthy OH-YEAH!
I walked 5.4 miles! – L.R.