Many factors can contribute to someone feeling low. It isn’t always easy to know whether someone is OK, particularly if they haven’t talked about it or children have yet to recognise the importance of changes in behaviour.
Good mental health helps children form positive relationships with others, handle ups and downs and generally enjoy life. Importantly, it also allows them to feel good about themselves and be more open to trying and learning new things.
Let’s look at some ways to encourage positive mental health in children:
- Observe and note children’s behaviour to identify any concerns about their mental health and wellbeing
- Parents and carers are often the first to observe changes in their children’s behaviour
- Listen when children express concerns without judgment and help them work through their problems
- Help children understand and manage their feelings, as this can help them develop coping skills
- Maintaining regular routines, such as bedtimes and mealtimes provide a sense of security
- Providing encouragement and positive feedback helps children build confidence
- Build partnerships with educators and others who spend time your children
- Educators can provide more effective support for children when they understand changes or difficulties that may be happening in their lives
- Educators at your centre may also be able to provide you with support and advice
- It’s important to seek professional help early if children show signs of emotional or behavioural difficulties, so that problems can be addressed before they get worse
- Our Growing Early Minds team has a dedicated team of allied health professionals you can talk to if you have concerns about your child’s mental wellbeing
- You can also contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. It’s Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
Article sources: R U OK Day; Kids Matter; Healthy Kids NSW
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