This week is Children’s Mental Health Week (6th – 12th February), a crucial week in teaching children how to spot and deal with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. If we can nip these things in the bud and have them talking about it early on, perhaps it can save them some of the struggles in later life.
I never had this kind of learning taught to me in school, and I spent much of my early 20s searching around on the internet for answers. It simply shouldn’t be this way. Especially when there’s a great deal of crap information on the internet – which is one of the reasons why I launched this blog.
I wrote the below post for a teacher to deliver to a group of 10-year olds, but I think it has lessons in it that we all need to remember.
Talking about Mental Health
We all have a mind, which means that we all have mental health. Like physical illnesses, some of us will, at times, have mental health issues. Mental health issues can be things like depression or anxiety, but they can also be things like sadness or anger.
The mind is a complicated thing, and while we may be familiar with feelings of sadness, there can be times when our mind plays up in different ways, like with depression.
Some people suffer from illnesses like depression because of challenges in their lives, but it’s important to also know that some people suffer from mental health issues even if it seems like nothing is wrong.
It may seem like they have the “perfect life”, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still suffer from these conditions. This can make it hard for people to realise that they are suffering from something.
If one of your friends comes into school with a broken leg or a broken arm, you will know straight away. But if someone comes in suffering from a mental health issue and they don’t talk about it, you may never know what they’re going through.
This means there are some important things you need to remember every day:
- Be kind to anyone and everyone around you, even if they aren’t your closest friends. You never know what battles someone might be fighting, even if they are smiling every day
- We’re all going to face challenges in our life, and while these help us to become stronger people, it’s important that you’re there for your friends when they need you
- If you are having a tough time, whether you’re a bit sad, angry, or maybe you feel depressed, it’s important that you talk about it. If you talk to the right people, they won’t ever judge you, and they’ll do everything they can to help you. But if you never tell anyone, they may never know what’s happening
You’ve got plenty of people around you – your friends, family, and teachers, and it’s only by talking that you can make problems go away. As they say, “a problem shared is a problem halved!”
Does your child need support?
Are you a parent reading this whose child is suffering from depression, anxiety, or some other mental illness? Get in touch with me and I can point you in the right direction.