What Is Children’s Mental Health?
Mental health is not simply the absence of mental disorder. Being mentally healthy during childhood means; being able to reach one’s developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills.
COVID-19 Impact on Children’s Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a considerable impact on the mental health of children. With the new norm being social distancing and restriction of movements. Child Space Organization, prior to the pandemic, thrived in bringing the children together using dance, art, modeling, and poems to help the children cope with issues of mental illnesses. Through channeling their energy into productive activities.
The arrival of COVID-19 has been a major impediment to consistency, because gathering has been disallowed. The Ministry of Education calendar is also forcing some of the children to miss our sessions because they are in school on Saturdays thus affecting the flow of our programs. For our programs click, https://childspaceorganization.org/our-programmes/
Characteristics of a healthy mind
A HEALTHY MIND IS A CENSORING MIND
It has the ability to sieve from thousands of haphazard, sensational, or horrifying thoughts. Keeping at bay discriminatory and critical judgment, that may want to tell us how horrible we are as humans.
A HEALTHY MIND TAMES THE CLAWS OF UNHEALTHY COMPARISON
It doesn’t allow the achievements of others to throw us off course, reducing us to a state of resentfulness.
A HEALTHY MIND KEEPS A SENSIBLE GRIP ON THE FLOW OF FEAR
In theory, a million and one things could worry us and send us into a state of panic. What if we run out of oxygen on earth? The mind is able to differentiate between what is conceivably to happen and what is in practicality likely to happen.
IT HAS MULTIPLE SOURCES
Through Skills-based Health Education, CSO has embraced the multi-faceted aspect of mental health challenges. This has been done through the Skills Based Health Education Program https://childspaceorganization.org/our-programmes/ .
Symptoms of childhood mental disorders
Symptoms of mental disorders change over time as a child grows. May include:
- Difficulties with how a child plays
- Difficulties with how a child handles their emotions
- Difficulty in learning and speaking
Symptoms often start in early childhood, although some disorders may develop during teenage years.
Categories of children’s mental disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Eating disorders (Bulimia)
Assessment and treatment
It is more difficult to assess and treat children’s mental illnesses because they are unable to verbalize some things. Much is left at the mercies of the observing eye. The information is gained from the adults and may or may not be appropriate when diagnosing a child.
There is a concern for danger when using psychological medication on children because of the lack of research on the effects of drugs on these specific age groups.
Frequently diagnosed mood disorders in teens
- Depression disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Dysthymic disorder
Approximately 2 out of 3 children with major Depression Disorders also have another mental health disorder. In 15-19 age groups, boys are four times more likely to commit suicide than girls, but girls are twice as likely to attempt.
Child Space organization is committed to holistic child development with a mission to guide the children through life skills and other pertinent training in order to explore their potential and support them to live responsibly.
Three major development areas in children’s mental health
With Bowlby’s theory of attachment that states; the child’s later attachment reflect the earlier relationship with the mother in mind, Child Space Organization (CSO) has used its Parents + program https://childspaceorganization.org/our-programmes/ to build the capacity of parents in matters of parenting and empowerment.
This proper parental bonding leads to better language development. Poor language development takes a toll on the academic performance of a child which is in itself a development issue.
Through interactions with other children, the child learns how to compromise and suppress their own desires for communal goals. Through the Smart Children Club program https://childspaceorganization.org/our-programmes/, CSO has enabled the children both boys and girls from ages 8-17 years to understand who they are as they interact with their peers and form positive behaviors which is a process.
Let’s learn to talk about mental health and take a step forward as a society. Always remember that as a child, your mental health doesn’t define you. Mental health is not the ability to stay out of darkness rather it is the ability to sit in the darkness with the hope that light will shine again.