Mental health is something we all have and good mental health is something we should all strive for. Like the word “health”, mental health is a positive idea. It’s a sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that helps us to reach our potential, deal with day to day stress, and contribute to our community¹. And kids have mental health too!
At a young age, your child will rely on you to help build positive mental health. Infants need strong attachment to cope with stressors and regulate emotions. Children need routines that include time to recharge and restore energy. Teens and youth need healthy relationships with parents who help to build independence and navigate in the world. As a parent, you can provide opportunities for your children to learn and practise their social emotional skills. This includes helping them to build²:
- Self-awareness (knowing who you are and how your emotions affect your)
- Self-management (controlling emotions and behaviours to achieve)
- Social awareness (knowing and respecting others)
- Relationships (maintaining healthy relationships)
- Responsible decision-making (making healthy choices)
It’s also our role to help kids get help if they need it. The majority of mental illnesses begin in adolescence and while addressing mental illnesses early can help to reduce the impact of symptoms, many young people will not receive that help³.
Help your kids be mentally well:
- Mental health of babies started with the mental health of their parents – contact your health-care provider for help with your mental health if you are going to have a baby
- Prenatal classes can be a great way to connect with resources and to meet other parents – check out our prenatal classes and drop-in hours
- Maintain a relationship of trust, openness, and honesty with young people
- Help them to build resiliency
- Role model healthy coping strategies
- Know where the get help in our community
- Get help early if needed
Learn how to help your kids be mentally well.
- World Health Organization
- Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
- School Mental Health ASSIST