ISSUES RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS AMONG CHILDREN AND TEENS
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, people’s lives have drastically changed. Many people lost their jobs, many people experienced the death of a loved one, many people also faced tremendous consequences relating to their physical and hence also mental health. Adolescence is a crucial period in an individual’s life as they start developing social and emotional habits at this age. These include a healthy sleeping pattern, coping mechanisms, interpersonal relations, etc. In the fall of 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics along with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health. Mental health should be given as much importance and significance as physical health. When the child is suffering from a physical illness, he/she is immediately taken care of; whereas when a child/teen is visibly upset or going through something, parents just shrug it off as a ‘phase’ or often don’t know how to deal with it properly. Globally, it is estimated that 1 in 7 (14%) 10-19 year-olds experience mental health conditions, yet these remain largely unrecognized and untreated. There are various factors that could affect a child’s mental health. We need to spread more awareness regarding the mental health of children and teens. Violence, harsh parenting, social norms, severe socio-economic problems can exacerbate a teen’s already fragile mental health condition. Some adolescents are at greater risk of mental health conditions due to their living conditions, stigmas, discrimination or exclusion, or lack of access to quality support and services. Mental health promotion and prevention intervention is extremely substantial as it aims to strengthen an individual’s mental state and helps them regulate their emotions well. This helps to build resilience and fight against adversities affectively. It is crucial to foster a supportive and safe environment for teens to talk about their mental health issues comfortably.
Reference links: Mental health of adolescents (who.int),
- Aaditi Nipankar
Kaveri College, Pune