Children in Construction – Children’s Mental Health
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – On World Mental Health Day, journalist and parenting expert Donna Tetreault speaks with ABC4’s Emily Clark about the importance of taking care of your child’s mental health. child.
Recently, Tetreault published an article in Thrive Global titled ‘The Way We Think About Kids’ Mental Health Is Dead Wrong.
“I really wanted to focus on the mental health of children, especially those 12 and under,” says Tetreault. “We know that the teenage years suffer from depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide and that this has increased over the past two decades.”
Tetreault says that between 2004 and 2019, this rate almost doubled. The suicide rate among 10-24 year olds has increased by more than 57%. These tragic statistics are a wake-up call to truly rethink the way we approach children’s mental health as a society.
What can parents do to make sure their child stays healthy and happy? Talking openly and regularly to your children about mental health will help them embrace the subject.
“We need to eliminate this stigma,” says Tetreault. “Mental health and taking care of ourselves is good. We need to talk openly about mental health the same way we talk about physical health. We are talking about nutrition, fitness and taking care of our physical well-being, but we are not talking about taking care of our mental health and well-being.
Talking openly about mental health to your children will ensure that the topic is normalized. It is also essential that parents are proactive rather than reactive when it comes to their child’s needs.
Tetreault says it takes an average of 8 to 10 years for a child who has been diagnosed to receive the professional services they really need. This extended delay is due to a general lack of qualified professionals coupled with a lack of parent education and awareness.
If parents are able to correctly identify the elements that signal that their child may need help, the sooner that child can get the services they need to thrive.
Managing our emotions and allowing our children to feel all of their feelings, even the worst, is a wonderful way to stay in touch with your emotions.
To watch the full conversation, watch the video above.