Children's Mental Health Awareness week is May 1-7
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.
Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely. Treatment and recovery are ongoing processes that happen over time. The first step is getting help.
Myth: Mental health problems don't affect me.
Fact: Mental health problems are actually very common. In 2014, about:
- One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue
- One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression
- One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It accounts for the loss of more than 41,000 American lives each year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.
Myth: Children don't experience mental health problems.
Fact: Even very young children may show early warning signs of mental health concerns.
These mental health problems are often clinically diagnosable, and can be a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24. Unfortunately, less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.
**Continue reading and get helpful tips for how to talk with your child about mental health at www.mentalhealth.gov
Talk to your child about Suicide
... "Contrary to myth, talking about suicide CANNOT plant the idea in someone’s head! It actually can open up communication about a topic that is often kept a secret. And secrets that are exposed to the rational light of day often become less powerful and scary. You also give your child permission to bring up the subject again in the future."