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Honest Conversations on Mental Health with our children A Vital Call to Action for Parents and Caretakers

Honest Conversations on Mental Health with our children: A Vital Call to Action for Parents and Caretakers

As we observe Children’s Mental Health Week, it’s important to have a vital discussion that cannot be delayed or disregarded any longer. The topic at hand is the grasping importance of having open and sincere conversations about mental health with our young ones. The importance of having open and honest discussions about mental health with young people cannot be overstated. It is crucial that we break the silence and confront the urgent mental health issues that our children are facing.

It is crucial to address the risks of staying silent about mental health. Given the alarming statistic that one in seven children and adolescents suffer from mental health disorders, it is crucial that we address this issue promptly. Untreated mental health problems can lead to a range of concerning outcomes, such as academic struggles, social withdrawal, substance abuse, self-harm, and even suicidal behaviour. If we fail to give mental health discussions the attention they deserve when talking to our children, where else can they seek the support, they need?

Unfortunately, certain parents and caretakers use busyness as a justification for not being present for their children. However, it is important to prioritise the mental well-being of our children above our hectic routines. It is important to prioritise the emotional well-being of our children and create a safe space for them to express their fears, worries, and emotions. It is through these discussions that we can establish trust, develop resilience, and lay the groundwork for maintaining mental well-being throughout one’s life.

The World Mental Health Report, 2022 cites epidemiological data that show how serious the problem of mental health is among young people. Nearly three-quarters of all mental health illnesses manifest before the age of 18, and half of those disorders begin by the age of 15. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and behavioural abnormalities are frequently observed. The critical nature of the situation is highlighted by these numbers.

Initiating change within our homes and communities can help alleviate mental health difficulties while we wait for government programmes to do so. Bridging the knowledge gap and denouncing stigma surrounding mental illness can be achieved through normalising talks about mental health. This preventative measure has the potential to save lives and change futures, and it is an early intervention method worth one million dollars.

Those of us who are responsible for the emotional and psychological well-being of children must take the lead in addressing this hidden epidemic. One open dialogue at a time can help us prioritise our children’s well-being. If we work together, we can make our home a place where kids feel safe, loved, and heard.

In conclusion, let us recognize the power of honest conversations on mental health. By fostering open dialogue, we not only equip our children with essential coping skills but also demonstrate our unwavering commitment to their emotional well-being. Together, let’s break the silence and build a brighter future for our children—one conversation, one step at a time.

About the Author

Adrian Ivan Kakinda is a seasoned counselling psychologist with a decade of experience in guiding individuals through life’s challenges. As an assistant lecturer of Psychology at Kyambogo University, he imparts his knowledge and expertise to the next generation of mental health professionals. Currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology and Mental Health of Children and Adolescents at the University of Dundee, United Kingdom, Adrian is a dedicated scholar and mental health advocate. His passion lies in offering support and empowerment to those in need, with a vision of witnessing others achieve self-fulfillment and resilience. Adrian is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of life. Contact:

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