How To Encourage the Young Generation to Value Their Mental Wellness?
For even the of healthiest kids, experiencing challenges is unavoidable, and in many cases, they can put them at risk for substance use, mental health issues among others. However, coming through these challenges, with the aid of adult support, whether a young person struggles with mental health concerns or not, can be an excellent way of building resiliency and mental toughness for the future.
What is Mental Wellness?
Mental wellness is the ability to adapt to changes, deal with trauma, and bounce back from the significant stressors that life presents, and it is just as important as physical health. This can help children manage unpleasant feelings and the uncertainties of life, as well as protect them from risky substance use as they grow.
Of course, every young person is different when it comes to the way he or she responses to life’s challenges. While some embrace obstacles as opportunities, others may dwell on challenges or be consumed by setbacks. How a person responds to life is contingent upon many factors, including, at times, mental health status.
As adults, we should never assume that a child has mastered a difficult situation just because they have been through it before. When a traumatic life event occurs, including a personal struggle with a mental health condition, physical and psychological distress can disrupt a child’s overall well being and ability to make healthy decisions. At these points, our young people’s mental wellness is at risk.
How Can We Promote Mental Health Among Our Youth?
“Progress is being made in how American adults view mental health … and the importance that mental health plays in our everyday life,” said Christine Moutier, chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, on a conference call with reporters. “A greater understanding is occurring with the American people, which is very encouraging.”
Understand the Power of Language and How It Can Contribute to Stigma
Stigma towards mental health issues and treatment often stems from the way we come to understand concepts through pop culture and influential others. Many commonly used phrases and idioms can contribute to misunderstandings and a reluctance to seek treatment for fear of being perceived as “weak” or “crazy.” Help challenge the stigma in your corner of the world by spending some time thinking and reading about how words and experiences may feel from a different perspective.
Let Them Realize How To Demystify Mental Health
There are a lot of myths about mental illness. Due to stigma, or negative attitudes about a group, and lack of understanding of what mental illness is, both students and educators are being left in the dark. This lack of clarity can lead students to feel isolated, misunderstood and even destructive.
In order to say it’s OK to talk about mental illness, we must first remind ourselves that mental illness can affect anyone, is not the result of character, personal defects, or poor upbringing and fortunately, they are treatable. When we can accurately point out a name and define mental illness, then, we have a common vocabulary to communicate. By defining, we demystify.
Walk the Talk by Taking Care of Yourself
One of the best ways we can contribute to improved mental health, better relationships, and healthier communities is to make sure we are managing ourselves and meeting our own needs. For people who tend to help others first, this can feel selfish and difficult.
Know How to Help Someone in a Crisis
About 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. These are our friends, family members, and loved ones who may be experiencing symptoms of mental health issues that aren’t obvious or visible. Keep resources on hand, learn how to recognize the signs, and know where you would go for help if someone you care about were to experience a crisis.
Share Your Experiences
Whether it’s a story about treatment or how your life is impacted by a mental health issue, sharing your experiences can be powerful for you and others as well. Feel free to share your story. Have you personally struggled or are currently struggling with a mental illness? Don’t hesitate to tell friends and family about it. Your story can encourage others to ask for help.
Ask people how they’re doing and mean it! Always be ready to listen and encourage. Ask questions and never judge.
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