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The Importance Of Mental Health Support For Children

Did you know children can develop the same mental health disorders that affect adults? It’s common to miss the signs of mental health conditions in children as they can be mistaken for ordinary behavioural changes as they grow. However, not knowing how to identify symptoms of deteriorating mental health among children can lead to damaging results that impact their overall health.

You are not alone if you don’t know how to distinguish between usual changes and mental health risks. Read on to find out more about the importance of mental health support for children.

Why is Mental Health Support Important?

Children with good mental health can reach emotional and related development milestones better than those without. One of the advantages of practical mental health support for children is healthy social skills. The value of such skills is coping with everyday challenges, resulting in an improved quality of life.

It’s easy to misinterpret mental health challenges among children as they deal with many changes as they grow. While it’s normal for most children to show signs of anxiety and fear, there are instances when these stressors can lead to changes in how they behave, learn, play, or express their emotions. Severe changes in your child can lead to unwanted interference with school, socially, and at home.

As a parent, you should remember that your child doesn’t have to be diagnosed with a specific disorder before they show related mental health symptoms. In most cases, your child will differ in behaviour even when the underlying cause hasn’t been analysed. It’s crucial to note any changes affecting their development and quality of life.

Signs of Mental Health Struggles in Children

According to research, mental health conditions affect approximately 25% of children. Various biological and psychological factors can lead to mental health challenges like reactions to environmental stressors, learning problems and puberty. Gender differences create an imbalance in the diagnosis of mental health disorders among children.

For instance, girls are more vulnerable to mood disorders like anxiety and depression. On the other hand, boys are likely to have spectrum disorders like Autism and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). However, both genders can showcase a combination of conditions, so it’s crucial for you as a parent to look out for the following signs:

  • Withdrawing from social interaction with family and friends.
  • Recurring sadness that lasts for weeks.
  • Uncontrollable behaviour that can be dangerous, such as getting into physical fights with peers.
  • Fears and worries impact how they perform daily activities.
  • Performing poorly at school.
  • Irregular sleeping patterns.

5 Tips to Help Support Children with Mental Health Concerns

Monitor Behaviour Changes

Changes in behaviour in children are common. It’s a part of reaching new developmental milestones. However, there are behavioural characteristics that can indicate challenges with coping mechanisms.

Maintain Honest Communication

It’s crucial to model healthy coping skills for your children. It starts with knowing they can approach and talk to you about uncomfortable and difficult life experiences. Knowing that you can provide a shoulder to lean on without judgment can make it easier for them to be open.

Love and Support Them

Children thrive in healthy, loving, and supportive environments. One of the best things you can do is ensure they feel cared for and know they are an essential part of your family. It can help build the confidence they need to develop healthy coping skills throughout their lives.

Encourage Outdoor Activities

Physical activity is a necessary healthy habit for children. Playing outside is essential not only for their physical development but also for their overall mental health. You should encourage joyful movement to help them remain excited and interested in the world around them.

Get Professional Help

Coping with mental health conditions can be difficult for children and professional help is needed to provide effective management and treatment. Recognising when your child needs medical intervention to diagnose and manage their condition is essential. Various forms of therapy are available that won’t affect them reaching their developmental milestones.

In summary, the importance of mental health support for children should be encouraged. It’s easy for most people to downplay most behavioural changes in young people. Yet, these can highlight a combination of mental health challenges that must be addressed immediately.

Affinity Health is a leading provider of healthcare insurance coverage. Our Affinity Junior Plan offers extensive benefits to help children below 18 access unlimited Telehealth consultations with an Affinity Health Doctor, Mental Health Professional, or Nurse. Ensure you support your children’s mental health challenges to improve their quality of life.

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