Even though the basic answers to this question might seem obvious, the fact of the matter is that many people may not know or understand much about mental health and wellness, especially if they have never personally dealt with it on their own. This is true not only with themselves but also with family and friends. In fact, many people may have had parents or lifelong friends that have struggled with some type of mental disorder or another and never even known it. In today’s article, we will not only take a look at this subject from the perspective of adults, but also from one which is often overlooked and neglected; children and infants.
Why Is Mental Health Awareness Important?
Understanding what mental health disorders are, as well as the common symptoms associated with them and various treatment and therapy methods is important for a number of reasons. In addition to being able to help an individual recognize these warning signs and indicators in their own lives, it also allows them to be able to see it in others as well. This could be a tremendous advantage in helping a loved one get on top of the problem early on before it becomes a crippling disorder.
Why Is it Important to Talk About Mental Health?
Having open and honest discussions about mental and emotional health can be helpful on a number of fronts. For starters, it works to continue to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues. On top of that, it educates those who are not aware of the many different aspects and categorizations of mental health illnesses and disorders. It also helps to develop a more nurturing and safe environment for those who struggle with these kinds of concerns to come forward without fear of ridicule or judgment.
And perhaps most important of all, it creates an opportunity for someone who may be suffering from a severe emotional or behavioral issue the chance to get help before they do something drastic.
What Is Infant Mental Health and Why Is it Important?
So often these topics deal solely with teenagers and adults, completely skipping over young children and pre-adolescents. For years, even after mental health disorders started to become recognized as legitimate medical issues they were still categorized as mainly adult problems. However, as research continues and medical and psychiatric understanding progresses, we now see that many children and even toddlers and infants can display signs of mental and emotional un-wellness. In years past these things may have been attributed to “kids being kids” but now we see, in some cases, it may be much more serious.
For infants in particular, these types of conditions can arise from a number of different reasons. But many times they revolve around separation issues and parental closeness needs. Nearly everyone understands that from birth to age three is perhaps the most critical time in a child’s development and awareness. It is during this time period that everything from basic motor skills to speech and even the foundation of their personalities are formed. It is an extremely important time in which the parents and children bond.
When this process is interrupted or if the developing child lives in a home where unhealthy and even traumatic behavior takes place (such as absentee parents, drug and alcohol use or domestic abuse), it very oftentimes leads to trauma and if left untreated, adult mental and emotional health disorders. Fortunately, there is a whole field of childcare and therapy dedicated to helping parents and their young children address and deal with these types of issues. The mental health professionals who work in this area have undergone significant specialized training.
Why Is Mental Health Important in Schools?
For the many times when these early emotional health concerns are missed in the preschool years, having mental health and wellbeing awareness in schools can act as a safety net. With counselors and other qualified experts in this area being present in schools, teachers and parents can work together to recognize these problems early in life before they have the chance to really take hold during the teenage years when things are already hard enough. An emotionally healthy child is a happy child. This will also help them to become a well-adjusted teenager and fully functioning adult, rather than letting years and years of an undiagnosed mental health condition eat away at them emotionally until the damage is severe and possibly, irreversible.
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