As parents, we want our children to be happy and well. Here are some ways you can support your child’s wellbeing and mental health.
Look for warning signs
Mental health issues affect approximately 14 per cent—or one in seven—of Australian children, at any given point in time. Many children can go through a period of difficulty and then improve. Here are some of the signs that your child might be experiencing a mental health issue:
- They seem unusually anxious and worried.
- They are expressing negative thoughts.
- They are not interacting with other children.
- They are having attention difficulties.
- They are unusually angry and aggressive.
Talk it over
Be available for your child to talk to you at any time about anything. Build a supportive relationship that gives your child the confidence to know they can come and talk to you when they need to. Really listen to what your child is saying before you try to offer any solutions. Sometimes just talking about how they are feeling with you can help your child to work out what they want to do. At other times, they might appreciate more advice or support from you.
If the problem your child is experiencing is something you do not feel you are able to assist them with, discuss the problem with your child’s teachers or school counsellor. If your child needs additional assistance, ask your GP for a referral to a psychologist who deals with children.