As a parent, you always hope to minimise the number of issues your children will face in their lives. You strive to provide them with a safe, loving and welcoming environment, and do your best to let them know you are there to support them. However, no matter how healthy an environment you bestow upon your children as they grow up, there is always a possibility that they may struggle at some point with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing.
Mental health disorders are known to affect around one out of every four people in western society, and that includes children too. Whether there is a genetic or environmental component to your child experiencing mental health difficulties, you may not be able to prevent your child from experiencing mental health issues. However, there are ways in which you can help to support them through it.
Visit their GP
A GP can do an overall assessment of their behavioural habits and emotional wellbeing, to see if there is a need of any formal diagnosis. There can be a wide range of reasons that children can struggle emotionally, so a good first step is to identify what the specific cause might be. For example, a child who struggles to display emotion, finds it difficult to make eye contact, becomes easily irritable or who is uncomfortable with socialising in large groups, could be struggling with a mental health illness such as anxiety. However, those are also some signs of Autism, which is a developmental disability. There is a distinct difference between these two very different conditions, so it is important to know exactly what is affecting your child’s wellbeing, to find the best way to support them.
Once you know what conditions, if any at all, might be affecting your child’s welfare, you can start to seek out the best treatment for them, and your GP may well recommend different options available to you. Services, such as psychologist London, can provide counselling and treatment for a range of different psychological disorders, including stress and anxiety, depression, OCD and concentration difficulties. Therapeutic processes can all be specifically designed to support your child with their individual needs. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), for example, is a spoken communication therapy which can help children to alter the way in which they view themselves and their environment, and provide them with alternative coping mechanisms to utilise when they feel the need to. It’s never a bad idea to find your own therapist to talk to.
Support and Encouragement at Home
You can also help your child at home by letting them know they are in a safe setting, and that they can come to you for support whenever they would like to. It is important to remember that your child may not want to discuss their therapy sessions with you, and that is okay. Talk to your child’s mental health support team, including their doctor, to find out how best you can help them through this difficult time. Overall, the most effective way for you to support your child is to continue to provide them with a loving home environment.
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