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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

What Every Child Needs for Good Mental Health

It is easy for parents to identify their child's physical needs, whether its nutritious food, warm clothes when it's cold or selecting bedtime at a reasonable hour. However, a child's mental and emotional needs may not be as obvious. 

Basic for a child's good mental health:

  • Unconditional love from family;
  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem;
  • The opportunity to play with other children;
  • Encouraging teachers and supportive caretakers;
  • Safe and secure surroundings; and
  • Appropriate guidance and discipline.

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Good mental health allows children to think clearly, develop socially and learn new skills. Additionally, good friends and encouraging words from adults are all important for helping children develop self-confidence, high self-esteem, and have a healthy emotional outlook on life.

Where to seek help

Information and referrals regarding the types of services that are available for children may be obtained from:

  • Mental health organizations;
  • Other professionals such as the child's pediatrician or school counselor;
  • Other families in the community;
  • Family network organizations;
  • Community-based psychiatric care;
  • Crisis outreach teams;
  • Education or special education services;
  • Family resource centers and support groups;
  • Health services;
  • Protection and advocacy groups and organizations; and
  • Self-help and support groups.

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To access the full article provided by Mental Health America click here.

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