Chances are a child or adolescent you know has a serious mental health need. In fact, mental health problems affect one in five young people. Mental health problems are painful, especially for children and adolescents. Words that make fun of mental health create a sense of shame, feelings of guilt and loss of self-esteem. For a child with a mental health problem, “stigma” is often the greatest barrier to accessing care.

There are many things that parents and caregivers can do to support children’s emotional health. Officially recognized as “Mental Health Month” since 1949, May is the perfect time to focus on children’s and adolescents’ mental health. Demonstrate your support for Mental Health Month by learning more about mental well-being in children.

Celebrate the accomplishments and strengths of children. Foster their self-worth and independence in children. Help them express their feelings. Promote mutual respect and trust. Recognize the strengths in all children. Appreciate each child’s uniqueness. Encourage individual talents. Help children set goals based on their abilities and interests. Show confidence in their ability to handle problems and tackle new experiences.

“The Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign” is part of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services Program. Parents and caregivers who wish to learn more about mental well-being can call 1-800-789-2647 or visit the website at mental  Lynn Canal Counseling Services (766-2177) and SEARHC CFS (766-6313) are your local community mental health services programs.

Beckie Chapin

Executive Director

Lynn Canal Counseling Services