We all know that mental health is an essential component to living a happy and satisfied life. Mental health is necessary for a human being to function productively at work and and establish flourishing healthy relationships. As simple as it sounds, it is a very complex game. We are in the middle of a depression crisis. According to the World Health Organisation, over 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. This is a shocking amount of people living in sufferance. Change is needed in order to combat this widespread problem. Better available knowledge and education on mental health is crucial and should be brought into the school system, if we care about our future generations at all, we owe to them to make a change now because without change, everything stays the same. It is our duty to be better role models.
With such an epidemic, why should someone have to wait until they are stuck in a deep, dark place of depression before they figure out what it is and what to do, or in many cases leave it untreated and do something unimaginable like take their own lives. Untreated depression can lead people to substance abuse and drug addiction in order to numb their feelings. If we want a better world, then we need to take action. Depression can be treated. Emotional awareness needs to be a key topic amongst children and young people today.
If we value our children and young people and the world they have been brought into, then it is up to us to serve their emotional needs and not just physical. Emotional well being should be recognised in children and not just adults. We have to respect and honour their emotions, build them up, instill them with knowledge, information, skills, coping mechanisms that can assist them to better deal with depression if it comes knocking at their door in the future. Children need a sense of worth and value. By taking action and encouraging healthy conversation about personal emotions, we can remove the stigma that surrounds mental health. Mental health should be acknowledged in the exact same manner as physical health.
According to Young Minds ‘More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood and less than half were treated appropriately at the time’ in the UK. If this is not evidence enough that we need to tackle the problem with depression head on and serve our young people, I don’t know what is.
In order to change all of this, we must change ourselves. Dismissing young human beings as kids with no idea of the real world and assuming that they should be happy because they have no worries or responsibilities is the wrong attitude to adapt as a parent, childcarer or teacher. It is nothing more than lazy. A child needs security, not just physically but emotionally in our to build stability and confidence and also gain an understanding for the people around them. This gives them wisdom and better judgement of character.
Harsh parental standards, frequent punishment, abuse, lack of nurture, praise and affection causes low self esteem in children and also adults. The brain chemistry is the same in this regard, leaving nothing more than a ‘semi functioning human’.
We can all begin to create better futures for the next generation by educating the children around us about their emotions, encouraging them to talk about their feelings, this gives them confidence in themselves and a sense of belonging. Encouraging children to respect their emotions in a creative way is where change begins. Seeking support if your child may need it is essential and allowing a child to express how they feel without fear is life changing. Knowledge is power.
For more tips and advice on how to develop emotional development in children, you can check out the following links.
Originally published at medium.com