MENTAL WELLBEING

Caring for our minds

Most of the information that I think is important for younger children to know can be found under the wellbeing tab - under mental wellbeing there are additional options to look specifically at mental health diagnosis, such as anxiety or depression. There are also some other common aspects that can impact a child's mental wellbeing including low self-esteem and stress.

Why is this so important? 

Digital Mind
 

WE NEED TO TALK

I believe that it is important for children to learn about their mental health/mental wellbeing from a younger age. Now more than ever it is being discovered that mental ill-health is affecting children at a younger age although it is not always recognised until they are in their teens. 

By helping children to understand why they are feeling certain ways and what they can do, can help them to manage these feelings. Talking openly about mental wellbeing also starts to break down the stigma that has been built over many years. The more we talk about mental health with children at a younger age, the more acceptable it becomes, it is no longer seen as an illness, people will begin to understand that they are not alone and will be less frightened to reach out and talk about their feelings. 

I also believe that now is a better time than any other. Many children and adults are for the first time beginning to feel new anxieties due to the pandemic. 

 

HELPING OTHERS

Sometimes we can be worried about talking to children or even other adults about mental wellbeing as we are worried that we can't support them or we are worried about saying the wrong thing. Here are some helpful tips to try to remember when someone opens up to you about their mental health.

If a child ever needs some tips to help a friend you can also show them some of these tips. 

 
Meditating Outdoors

EXPRESS CONCERN

A simple act of expressing your concern can demonstrate to someone that you care and you are looking out for them. This can give them the opportunity to open up if they want to.

REASSURANCE

If someone does choose to speak to you about their mental wellbeing it is probably a really big step for them. Make sure that you make it clear you are there for them if and when they might need support.

LISTENING

This is probably one of the most important tips to remember. Offering your time to listen and giving them your full attention will make them feel supported. It is okay to give examples if you have them but try not to make it about you, as this can often make people feel like their feelings are insignificant.

BE YOU

Although sometimes we can be worried that we are going to say the wrong thing it is important to just be yourself. People will feel more comfortable this way and the conversation stays calm.

PATIENCE 

Even if someone does decide to open up, they might not always tell you the full story or how they are feeling all the time. Sometimes it can be hard to understand but just being there and offering support can make such a difference.

NO JUDGING ZONE

Sometimes we don't always understand how people are feeling and that is okay! However, try not to get annoyed at them, not everyone will ask for help and that is their decision everyone has to respect that. Being there and listening might be all the support they need.

DON'T FORCE IT 

Everyone does things at their own pace and that's okay. Even if we express our concern to someone it is still their choice whether or not they want to talk about it. The decision is always theirs and it should not be made on their behalf!

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF 

It can sometimes be quite hard to hear about the distress that someone close to you is feeling. Be kind to yourself and take the time to relax and talk to someone if you need to (just remember not to share the information that was trusted to you).

WHAT TO SAY...

As expressed above sometimes we can be concerned about the advice that we give or the language that we use. However, most of us will already know the language that is acceptable, sometimes we don't even need to know what to say just actively listening can be the biggest help.


It is also important, however, to remember that words can have positive and negative connotations, it is often insulting if the word is used with negative intentions. This is also how stigmas about mental health are developed, often our language can impact how those around us view mental health and sometimes can be the reason that someone opens up to you or doesn't. 

Below are some videos that explain the impact negative words and stigmas can have on people and some photos to display more positive language. 

 
 
 

KNOWING THE SIGNS 

Under the wellbeing tab you will find some signs towards lower mental wellbeing, however, sometimes it is hard to tell if someone is just having a day where they feel low or if they might need to talk to someone about a mental health diagnosis. Beyond Blue has a depression and anxiety checklist, this does not provide a diagnosis but may help you or your child identify how they are feeling.

If there is any information that you think would be helpful or any resources that you would like you can ask through the FAQ section or if you want to contact me specifically you can reach me through email at Leylagunn@outlook.com. I will do my best to help in any way that I can.