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“There is no health without mental health.”
Mental health—how we think or feel about ourselves and what is going on around us and how we cope with life’s stresses—influences our feelings of well-being and our physical health. Youngsters that are intellectually sound are more ready to confront the afflictions of life. Child mental health (child psychology) lays the foundation for excellent mental health and well-being today and in the future.
Mental Health Difficulties
Mental health problems impact roughly 14% of Australian children or one in every seven. Most people, including children, will have mental health issues at some point in their lives. It is common to experience difficulty and then improve. Children will benefit from the assistance of the essential adults in their lives during these times. However, mental health issues in children can persist and interfere with many parts of their lives.
Children’s emotions and behavior are affected by mental health issues, which can be concerning for the child, parents and caregivers, and the child’s school. Other words for mental health difficulties are emotional/behavioral problems and mental health concerns. At the point when troubles are persistent as well as extreme, a psychological well-being master might analyze them as a “psychological infection”.
Common mental health issues in primary school-aged children include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and depression. The diagnosis of each condition is based on globally accepted criteria that identify particular symptoms and behaviours. To diagnose, the symptoms must be severe enough to cause distress and interfere with the child’s ability to carry out daily activities and enjoy life.
Professional help may be valuable since mental health concerns can create significant stress in children and families. However, children with psychological health difficulties frequently may not receive enough expert therapy for a variety of reasons, including guardians not knowing where to go for support. One of the key goals of KidsMatter Primary is to provide information about child mental health as well as tools to assist parents, caregivers, and school personnel in ensuring that children with mental health problems receive appropriate treatment.
What sorts of emotional well-being issues do kids confront?
Children’s mental health difficulties are often classified as either ‘internalizing’ or ‘externalizing’. Internalizing issues cause children to display constrained and over-controlled actions. They may be apprehensive, afraid, and/or withdrawn if they have a nervous or anxious temperament. Children with externalizing difficulties exhibit uncontrollable behaviors. They may have a more difficult temperament, as evidenced by impulsive or reactive behavior. This trend can sometimes lead to difficulties with focus, anger, or oppositional behavior.
Externalizing behaviors generate problems for both others and the youngsters themselves. Children frequently exhibit behaviors consistent with both internalizing and externalizing patterns of behavior.
The typical characteristics associated with each pattern are listed below.
Among the characteristics related to children’s ‘internalizing’ difficulties are:
nervous/anxious temperament, Excessive anxiety, gloomy thinking, withdrawn behavior, and peer relationship difficulties are all symptoms of a nervous/anxious temperament (eg can be isolated).
The following characteristics are linked to children’s ‘externalizing’ difficulties:
oppositional behavior (e.g., doesn’t like to be told what to do; won’t obey rules), confrontational behavior, challenging temperament, poor problem-solving skills, attention difficulties, hyperactivity
Externalizing difficulties are common in children with ADHD. Externalizing patterns of behavior, such as chronic hostility, are also seen in children with other major behavioral issues. An anxiety disorder or depression may be identified in children with severe internalizing difficulties.
Is a diagnosis required?
Diagnosis is a medical term that helps mental health professionals understand a child’s symptoms. Diagnosing a child with a mental health problem can assist in determining the appropriate treatment. Making an accurate diagnosis, on the other hand, might be challenging at times. This is because children’s growth and development varies from one another, and one youngster may display certain indications of a mental health condition but not others.
It might be a relief for families to have a name for what is wrong. They can use a diagnosis to explain why their child acts the way he or she does. It’s memorable’s fundamental, nonetheless, that a symptomatic name simply distinguishes a bunch of normal side effects. Even if a child has been diagnosed with a mental health problem (often referred to as a condition), it is still critical to recognize his or her abilities and satisfy his or her unique needs.
What causes children’s mental health problems?
Understanding what causes children’s mental health problems is difficult. Unlike some physiological disorders that have a single cause (for example, the flu is caused by a virus), mental health problems are thought to be produced by a combination of factors that interact in various ways depending on the particular kid, family, and social situations. Some of the biological, psychological, and social elements that influence children’s mental health are depicted in the diagram to the right. Any of these elements can have an impact on a child’s mental health, either positively or negatively. For example, self-esteem might be high or low, and family conditions can be positive or negative at different times.
Children’s mental health: risk and protective factors
Risk and safety factors are one way to understand the mental health of children. Research has identified a number of specific features that increase the likelihood of adolescents experiencing poor mental health. Other elements that have been identified as having a protective impact have also been identified. Protective factors help children’s mental health and well-being, making them less likely to experience mental health problems. They help to avoid mental health disorders and build resilience, or the capacity to deal with life’s adversities.
The graphic above depicts some of the most important risk and protective factors that affect children’s mental health. It’s memorable’s essential that on the grounds that a youngster is presented to emotional well-being risk factors doesn’t demonstrate the person will definitely dislike psychological wellness. When numerous risk factors are present, however, this possibility increases significantly.
Risk and security variables are confusing. However, it is recognized that reducing risk factors and increasing safety variables in children improves their mental health and well-being. KidsMatter Primary aims to promote the mental health and well-being of children by strengthening their safety nets during their primary school years.
Mental health specialists who may be able to assist youngsters with their difficulties
Counsellor/psychologist at the school
Check with your child’s school to see if they have a school psychologist or counsellor. Children with mental health issues are assessed and supported by school psychologists and counselors. They give advice to parents, caregivers, and school staff on how to support specific children, and they may refer them to other specialists.
A doctor of general practice (GP)
Your family doctor will give you advice and assist you in determining whether additional testing and treatment are required. To be eligible for Medicare reimbursement for mental health therapy from other providers, you must have a doctor’s reference.
If you need a professional who helps you and your child feel comfortable, safe, and free from judgment, contact the Offspring Health.