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10 Things Every Child Should Have For Healthy Mental Health

Crystalyn Hori-Wilson
Crystalyn Hori-Wilson

Hi, I've been working in mental health for 11 years and have worked with people of all ages, families, couples, and individuals. I'm currently focusing on women's issues and anxiety disorders.

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Children’s mental health is very important. This can be difficult to understand, especially at the age they start to form their own identity and sense of self. We often take it for granted that they are just doing well compared to other kids, but this really isn’t the case. Children have a base level of happiness and comfort that we don’t always anticipate when we look at them. The first few years of life are when a child builds up their identity, so making sure they are getting things such as interactions with other children and teachers coupled with solid early childhood education is vital to their mental health. To that end, here are 10 things every child should have for healthy mental health in case he or she ever needs it someday.

Children might have mental health issues, but the appropriate people and surroundings can support them.

Supportive, loving home environment:

Healthy mental health starts with a strong, supportive home environment. That’s a fact. You see, children who have healthy minds and bodies turn out to have stronger, healthier lives. That truly is the case. The reason is that they learn how to cope with stress, failure, and other challenges in their life through and it comes from an abundance of positive interactions with parents and other loved ones at home. If your child can’t tell you what they’re feeling or if they don’t have words to express themselves, it’s not healthy inside their head either.

Friends:

Friends are what fill up your mental well-being. We all want to be happy and have no worries, right? It’s hard to find that with friends. Having friends can make our lives better, but sometimes they make them even better. We have so many things to worry about in life and if people don’t appreciate us as much as we would like them to, it can be difficult to be around them sometimes. Having good friends is something that everyone should strive for in their lifetime but some find it easier than others.

Good Place to Live:

A good place to live is a basic need for every child. In this world we live in right now, it’s easy to get lost and stressed out. And there are times when the pressure of having to deal with stress just gets too much. However, if you constantly keep in mind that one thing will allow you to stay fresh and happy when things become overwhelming, then it should help you keep going no matter what life throws your way.

Good Place to Learn:

The sad truth is that it is not enough to just have birthdays, holidays, and celebrations. Children need a place to learn and experiment with ideas that will make them grow up as intelligent, independent, and self-aware individuals. A healthy start in life is important for everyone and can have a major impact on mental health, especially for children. It’s been proven that young children who experience traumatic events such as abuse or neglect are more likely to become depressed as adults.

Opportunities for physical activity and play:

Physical activity and play are important for the health of your child. When engaging in these activities, children are more likely to feel better about themselves and have more self-discipline. This can help them learn problem-solving skills, stay on task and prepare for life. If your child is already active, this might seem secondary. But the fact of the matter is that there are all sorts of physical activity opportunities for children, and the benefits for mental health go hand in hand with it.

A healthy diet:

A healthy diet is a good start when it comes to helping children develop better mental health. Nutrition is one of the most important factors in maintaining mental health. A healthy diet means eating a variety of foods, not eating too much or too few calories, and getting the right amount of phosphate, fiber, and vitamin D. You should also aim for a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables included.

Healthy amount of sleep and some alone time:

A healthy amount of sleep and some alone time are important for mental health. Relaxing alone time is a good way to re-establish the connection with your body and mind. Being in a room with a lot of others for extended periods can cause your system to shut down, leaving you in a negative state of mind. The trick to getting some good sleep is making sure that you have enough alone time every day, which improves your mental health.

Availability of mental health care as necessary:

Access to mental health services can be challenging for children, especially those who do not have enough health insurance coverage. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends having a counseling team available at all times. Children also should have access to continuity of care to keep up their mental health with treatment such as group mental health therapy sessions or family mental health counseling.

Active role models who love them and show them in positive ways:

Healthy mental health starts as early as possible. To keep kids from having anxiety or depression, you must provide them with the proper environment. That’s why it’s crucial to build a foundation of healthy relationships that include being around positive role models and showing kids how to use their strengths.

Guidance on managing emotions/feelings and working through problems:

Managing emotions, feelings and problems is a huge part of being a successful and happy individual. Every child is different, but most children want to be happy and they want to solve problems. Often children find that their emotions become out of control and they feel overwhelmed by the emotions that surround them. They also experience sadness, loneliness, fear, confusion, and anger. Children who experience these feelings may not know how to deal with them so they can feel better or solve their problems. In an attempt to manage these feelings and reduce pain, parents may turn to various techniques for guidance on managing these emotions/feelings and working through problems. Everything children do in life has emotional and mental health consequences. They must have good emotional and mental health to manage them successfully.

Seek assistance from some of the top child psychiatrists, child psychologists, or child therapists in Utah if you believe your child may require mental health counseling. 

Humanity must take care of its children, they are the most precious gift to us and their well-being is precious. Children need the love, attention, and protection of the adults around them. While they are under our care it is up to us to make sure that they do not fall victim to depression, eating disorders, bullying, low self-esteem, and even suicide. Each year over 7 million kids in America need treatment for emotional and behavioral problems. Children develop better when they have access to support and interventions like therapy, which help them manage stress, handle their emotions, and build coping skills. These are the ten things every child should have for healthy mental health.

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