Children and Young People

Being emotionally well is important especially among the children and young people of today. This is as important as being physically healthy. Most children will grow up having a healthy mental disposition but there are factors to be considered which can lead to other problems. The negativity that children and young people experience will come to pass in a short time but if this feeling should persist, consult a doctor immediately.

Advice for all the young people

If someone young feels stressed out, he should think that he is not alone in feeling that way. One in every five young people has trouble in their mental health in one year. It may be helpful to talk to someone you know like your family or friends about your problems. You may also opt to speak to people in authority like your teacher or your faith leader. There are confidential help lines or you can visit a professional for advice.

Good mental state

Being emotionally well is very important for children and young people. This is as important as being physically healthy. A good mental state makes young people resilient in coping with their problems and let them grow into adults who are well-rounded.

The following are things which can help the young people keep mentally healthy:

  • doing regular exercise, eating a well balanced diet and being active
  • becoming a part of a loving family who gets along very well
  • have time to enjoy and relax, play outdoors and go out with friends and family
  • socialize with other children and in other events
  • preferring a school which looks out for the wellbeing of its pupils

Other triggers or factors can also affect the children's mental well-being. They are the following:

  • must be loved, understood, trusted, kept safe, and valued
  • be optimistic and hopeful
  • to be interested with life and be able to enjoy it to the fullest
  • learn new opportunities for success
  • to feel that he belongs to a loving family, have friends and is accepted in their school and community
  • knows and accepts who they really are and what they do best
  • having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems
  • feeling they have some control over their own life

Majority of children will grow up being mentally healthy but there are studies that point out that there are more children now than in the past who will have mental health issues when they grow up. This is because of the difference of the way of living we have now than in the past.

How to deal with change

Traumatic experiences that a child has experienced while growing are the reasons why they can be prone to having mental health problems in their adult life. Traumatic experiences can be a result of moving out of their school, homes, losing a family member or the unexpected arrival of a new sibling. Being able to start school can cause other children to be happy but it can also be anxious for some especially when they are expected to meet friends and keep relationships to 'fit in'.

When children reach adolescence, their bodies and minds change and this can cause additional stress for them. This is an important chapter in everyone's life and it is this time that the child learns to accept who he is. It may be hard for other children to cope up and they might do experimentations on substance, alcohol and other drugs that they think will help them alter their feelings.

Risk factors

Risk factors make some children susceptible to having mental health problems than their peers. The following risk factors are:

  • have a long-term illness
  • losing someone they love
  • having a familial history of mental problems and if their parents had troubles with the law
  • separated or divorced parents
  • being homeless and thriving in poverty
  • been bullied or sexually abused during any point in their lives
  • has been discriminated against because of race, religion or sexuality
  • cannot do well in their studies
  • have adult responsibilities even when they are too young for it

How can parents help?

It is easy for parents to beckon their children to tell them their problems if they have a loving, open and open relationship with them. It is important to listen to the children and to take everything they say seriously. Support them and give them extra hugs and kisses after telling you their problems. They may want you to help them or to advise them on something they find difficult to do.

Children's negativity will come to pass after a short time but if the child has been stressed for so long, it is better to seek medical help. This would lead to their stress preventing them from doing what they want, disrupting their social affairs or to behave in more mature ways than is expected for their age.

Kinds of mental health problems

There are several mental health problems that could affect a child. These are listed here:

  • Depression. This condition has affected more children in the present day than it did in the last couple of decades. But depression is more common for adults. The teenagers are the ones at high risk for depression. Young children rarely ever get depressed.
  • Self-harm. Self-harm or mutilation is a means of coping for a number of children. They harm themselves to deal with their emotional and intense pain.
  • Anxiety disorder. Young people who are diagnosed with anxiety disorders tend to become very worried. They may also suffer from separation anxiety.
  • Post traumatic stress disorder. This condition follows after the child has suffered being physically or sexually abused. This can also occur when they have witnessed acts of violence or being frightened too much. Being bullied or going through disasters can also result to this.
  • ADHD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder makes children behave impulsively and be overactive. More boys are affected than girls and the exact cause for it is not known.
  • Eating disorders. This condition may start when the child has reached puberty. This is common in girls than in boys. Only a minority of young people get affected with this condition but anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa have serious damage to physical health.

Professional help

If the child is having troubles at school, someone with authority like his teacher, school counsellor, school nurse, or psychologist may step in to help. If this does not happen, go to a doctor to seek professional help. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is good place to start looking for help.

There is free support given by the NHS to children who have mental health problems in their school or in their social services department. There is a long list of children waiting to get support so if the parent wants immediate treatment, he should choose to pay for it.

Talking it through

Having the child talk things through with his family or doctor is good thing to start his treatment. This allows the adults to understand the child's problem and find a way to solve it. This can be done through playing with the child. Professionals recommend that the entire family be involved in the child's treatment. The child can be subjected to talk therapy, counselling or through psychological therapy.

Medication

The available drugs to treat mental problems are more suited for the adults than children. The children have to be properly assessed before being prescribed with any medication. There are evidences that point out the effectiveness of talk therapies on children. Prescribed medicines can also help but only in some cases.

Confidentiality

The professionals who treat the child will hold the information about the child and his family confidential. There are available help lines which young people can easily gain access to. But medical care for young people requires their parents' consents if they are below 16 years old. Even young people have their right to keep their issues private between their therapists. The family should always be supportive and ready to listen and understand the child if he should need help.