Mental health issues affect more people in the UK now than ever before. From stress and anxiety to depression and bipolar disorder, chances are that you or someone you know has suffered from at least one of these.
Worryingly, children are becoming more and more susceptible to these issues and hospitals are seeing an increasing amount of admissions amongst those we haven’t even hit their teenage years yet. Below are just a few ideas to help you keep track of your child’s mental wellbeing so that any issues can be dealt with quickly.
Firstly, be open with your children and let them know that you are always there for them if they are having any problems. If they feel comfortable discussing their feelings with you then they are far more likely to come to you and ask for help if they need it. If your child doesn’t feel comfortable discussing problems with you then make sure they have a trusted friend, teacher or family member they can talk to if they feel worried or overwhelmed about anything.
Keep an eye out for changes in behaviour such as becoming quiet and withdrawn, not participating in activities they usually enjoy or suddenly becoming very angry and aggressive. Whilst every parent can agree that their children experience a variety of emotions while growing up, extreme behaviours could be a sign of something more concerning than normal adolescent tantrums.
Make sure you attend parent’s evenings regularly because your child’s teacher will have a good idea of how your child is coping and can let you know if there are any issues. If you really can’t go then arrange for a friend or relative to go on your behalf.