Children’s Mental Health
With so much negativity out in our world, especially with easy access to social media, it’s time to encourage children, young people and adults to celebrate their uniqueness and focus on the positive. They get enough negative focused talk from home and school. I’m not say there’s anything wrong with the different Anti-Bullying, Anti-Drugs, Anti-Alcohol, Anti-Hate programs. In fact, these are all great programs to have. But parents and teachers, let’s take some time to look at “Pro”, instead of always “Anti”.
Let’s focus on Pro-friendship, Pro-making good choices, Pro-peace, and Pro-Mental Health this month. I have always liked how the Pros focused on the positive aspects I want to encourage. This is easy to do both at home and school.
Thus, the best way to encourage good mental health in your children or students is to focus on building self-esteem. For you see, when our children look in the mirror and have a positive view of themselves it can help them to cope with life’s challenges. It can also help them recognizing the different qualities they cherish in others and allow them to connect with those around us. When our children and students stop focusing on trying to “fit in” they are able to instead focus on being uniquely them. So, let’s not focus on anti-bullying, instead let’s focus on Pro-friendship. Let’s teach our youth to be a friend to those who might not have a friend; to stand up for their friends; and be the friend he or she would want to have. We must teach our children/students to not focus on trying to fit in, instead to just be himself or herself.
Since, Mental Health Awareness Month is observed in May, let’s make May 2018 a time to focus on the beauty within and to renew the mind, body, and spirit.
Check out Mental Health America for toolkits and ideas how to make this May truly amazing for your children or students!
In this year’s toolkit, you will find a range of materials, including:
- Fact sheets on how mental health is affected by diet and nutrition, sleep, stress, gut health, and exercise;
- Worksheets on making life changes;
- A promotional poster, sample social media posts with images, and web banners;
- A sample press release and a drop-In article; and a sample proclamation for public officials to recognize May as Mental Health Month and the work of local mental health advocates.
Go out there and be a Pro!
Author: Kelly Dale, School Psychologist