Happy May! And happy Mental Health Awareness Month! Mental health is a vital component of overall health and well-being. In 2020, it was estimated that 1 in 6 youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder. As a mental health professional, this statistic is not surprising to me, and it has likely increased given the pandemic and related stressors.
With this in mind, it is so important that we continue to raise awareness and promote children’s mental health. I encourage all parents and caregivers to take a look at this 3-page guide from Seattle Children’s Hospital: Mental Health and Your Child or Teen. The guide includes a summary of what mental health is, what to watch for, and recommendations for how to improve children’s mental health.
If you are concerned about your child’s mental health or well-being, please seek help. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I provide short-term counseling to students and offer families consultation and referrals to community resources. Other good places to start are reaching out to your child’s teacher or pediatrician if you have concerns.
- Youth Mental Health First Aid is a great (and free!) virtual course offered through Seattle Children’s Hospital. The class is offered to adults who interact with children ages 12-18 and is designed to improve participants’ knowledge of mental health and substance use problems. It also provides strategies for how to connect youth with care when needed.
- I always like to highlight The Imagine Neighborhood podcast to families. This is a wonderful podcast designed to grow children’s emotional intelligence.
- On June 2nd, ParentMap is hosting a free talk about children’s screen time and media use. In the talk, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development, will present a blueprint for how parents can rebalance screen time. Learn more and register here.