Mental illness symptoms emerge in adolescents or childhood, which, if not treated with time, may prolong the side-effect it has on your well-being and overall health. It is reported that mental illness has affected 1.2 million youth which increases to 7.5 million as they reach the age of 25. The recent generation of youth, due to the pandemic and recession, have substantial rates of mental issues higher than that of an adult. There are several factors also included, like bullying, poverty, and violence.
Adults who suffer from physical health problems, like diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, most likely have a severe mental illness during their childhood or teen years. It is essential to know that without mental health, there is no health. If the kids and youth are not mentally well, they will be physically unwell and will not positively impact the society and environment around them.
To ensure an individual’s ideal growth and development, you need to start educating kids about mental health during the early school years. Growing up, they encounter challenges, including exclusion, bullying, and conflict, resulting in poor self-esteem. We must acknowledge this challenges that children face and help them to tackle them. A combined effort of parents, teachers, and mental health professionals can greatly improve a child’s mental health.
That is why educating children about mental health in schools is important.
- The primary goal of mental health education
To make children aware of mental health through education, schools need to teach children what mental health means and how they can maintain good mental health. It is important to teach children the importance of self-care and how they are responsible for keeping their mental well-being by emphasizing that mental health is crucial for overall health.
- Early intervention makes a difference in a person’s mental health
In this process, the children are aware of how small behavioral changes are the earlier signs of major mental illness. Some symptoms include staying alone, mood changes, nervousness, andlack of attention during class. Children should notice these signs in their friends or classmates and immediately report to the teacher. In this way, the severity of the mental illness may be reduced. It can even delay or prevent the development of a mental illness.
- The mental health stigma can also be eliminated
Educating children about mental illness may help normalize conversations, eventually releasing the stigma surrounding it. The stigma around mental health has long been disputed; individuals diagnosed with mental illness are considered a mark of disgrace. It left them with blame, shame, hopelessness, and distress. That is why educating children on mental health issues may help patients have good self-esteem and a positive attitude.
Many counselors of the 21st century have emphasized the importance of making children aware of mental health issues. According to the founder of Elite Counsellor Agata Dominika, “There should be more about mental health in school education. Kids and teenagers should learn more about how important mental health is.” We should take mental health issues seriously for a better future of our society and world.
In conclusion, the awareness of mental illness in youth is increasing with each generation, and we, as a society, are responsible for protecting our children as best as we can.