Child and Adolescent Mental Health is a hot topic at the moment and the fact that we are now accepting and understanding the fact that children and adolescents, as well as adults can struggle with their mental health is a real step forward.
Children are sometimes thought of as happy, carefree and untroubled, able to enjoy their lives and the simplicity that comes with that.
However now we realise it isn’t the same as what we thought, and in fact children are experiencing pressures in their lives. They may be different pressures to adults but pressures all the same, with the triggers such as school, friendship groups, and the power of social media which is making them unhappy there are different ways.
We work with parents at the adults supporting their children with their mental health and well being can be so hard.
So we deliver sessions to help the parents to understand their children and their emotions.
As parents, we sometimes find difficult it difficult to accept a child might be struggling with anxiety. Where has it come from? What can we do to fix it? Are some of the questions that Helen gets asked on this topic.
The topics we cover in the sessions are Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The latter used to be an adult illness, coming originally from the military and the first and second World Wars, however now this can happen across the board, infants, children, adolescents, adults and retired individuals.
Looking at Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a child’s points of view, the trauma the children go through is relative to them. It could be they have gone to a different classroom, they are not with the best friend, that they’ve seen an accident, or it could be something else, however it will be traumatic to them.
We look at some of the behaviours we may see and how we can support ourselves to support our children.
Other areas we discuss with PTSD are Anxiety and the different forms of this, self harm and eating disorders.
There are also a number of organisations that are there to support children, and one Charity that Purple Dog is proud to support is Hey#LetsTalk in Barnsley (soon to also move into Kirklees) .
Already established in Barnsley (formally TADS), they have just had a re brand and have extended their offer in both services and settings.
Now established in schools across the authority, children are benefiting from 1:1 and group sessions with #counselling and #PlayTherapy both run by fully trained, qualified in their area and experienced professionals.
In addition to this, well-being sessions offer a more informal and supportive way for children to find ways to improve and be supported with their well-being.
To support our children we must be able to support ourselves with our knowledge of how children think and behave. From this, we give our children the best start for a life happy which is mentally and emotionally safe for them to thrive in.
What did Aristotle say?
‘Give me the child until he is 7 and I will show you the man’
Perhaps now we could look at is as ‘…and I will show you the adult?