Battling the Unseen: Raising Mental Health Awareness and Well-Being

Creating a better society begins with safeguarding the next generation. With everything that is going on around us, every person longs for psychosocial support—particularly the children. After all, it helps to know that you have someone on your side. It raises the mood of the person and, more significantly, gives hope.

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 caused massive changes in our daily lives and how we function as a global society. Individually and collectively, we have struggled to understand the virus that has disrupted our world. The pandemic has posed a severe threat to worldwide public health and, most especially, to our mental health. Because of this, there is a significant increase in problems related to mental health matters.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is a condition of mental well-being that allows us to cope with life’s stressors, realize our strengths, study and work effectively, and contribute to the community. It is just as important as physical health.

Most people think that when we say one is mentally healthy, it means that they are free from any mental illness, but mental health also includes one’s emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we feel about ourselves, the world and life, our ability to solve and overcome difficulties, build relationship with others and contribute to our community, and the ability to continue to achieve our goals.

sad little girl showing mental health matters

Why Mental Health Matters

The importance of mental health spans our whole well-being and influences our lives in a variety of ways. Taking care of our mental health allows us to be resilient and recover from whatever happens.

Therefore, it might be difficult to enjoy life when your mental health is suffering. You may feel physically and mentally exhausted. Many of these changes can make leading a balanced and rewarding life more difficult. Whether they’ve suffered mental illness or a substance use problem, everyone can benefit from knowing how to improve and safeguard their mental health.

Mental health can have an impact on daily life, relationships, and physical health. This link, however, also works in the opposite direction. People’s lives, interpersonal relationships, and physical conditions can all contribute to mental illness. Thus, taking care of one’s mental health might help one retain their ability to enjoy life. This includes balancing life activities, duties, and psychological resilience efforts. Stress, despair, and anxiety can all have an impact on one’s mental health and affect one’s routine.

In short, mental health is vital to our overall health.

Why Should Mental Health Matter to You and Your Family?

Mental health is essential for the growth of families. The family environment, for children, can play an important role in promoting positive mental health for all members of the family. Connections within our families help us feel worthy. We learn how to understand each other when we interact with our family. These interactions with our families create emotional intelligence and greater bonds with them and those outside the family.

Our familial experiences provide us with insight into other people’s lives, opinions, and mental health. We learn to be receptive to people’s differences and to negotiate those differences in order to connect with them. These experiences teach us how to be self-assured enough to communicate what is going on in our heads and to understand what is going on in the heads of others.

sad and lonely asian boy showing mental health issue

What are Mental Health Issues in Children?

Being mentally healthy during childhood involves achieving developmental and emotional milestones, as well as cultivating appropriate social skills and dealing with challenges. Children who are mentally healthy have a higher quality of life and may thrive at home, school, and in their communities.

Mental disorders in children are major changes in how children learn, behave, or handle their emotions; resulting in distress and difficulties getting through the day. Many children have frequent worries and fears, as well as disruptive behaviors. If the child’s symptoms are severe and persistent, interfering with school, home, or play activities, they may be diagnosed with a mental condition.

Mental illnesses can start in childhood. Some examples are:

1. Anxiety and Depression

A child may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder if they don’t outgrow the fears and worries that are common in early childhood. These also include the many fears and worries that hamper the child’s school, home, or play activities. Moreover, if these children are constantly dejected and hopeless, they may eventually be diagnosed with depression.

2. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD)

Children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) are more likely to be antagonistic or rebellious in the presence of someone they know well, such as family members, a regular caregiver, or a teacher. These behaviors are more common in children with ODD than in other children their age. When children exhibit a continuing pattern of violence against others, as well as serious violations of rules and social norms at home, school, and with peers, they are diagnosed with conduct disorder (CD).

3. Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

It is natural for children to have difficulty focusing and behaving at times. However, children with ADHD do not just outgrow these behaviors. The symptoms can be severe, and can cause problems at school, at home, or with friends.

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Many children experience troubling thoughts from time to time, and they may feel inclined to act on those thoughts, even if they’re unreasonable. Some children’s thoughts and cravings to do certain actions remain, even when they try to ignore or suppress them.

Children are diagnosed with OCD if they feel compelled to act on these thoughts, which usually consume a significant amount of their time (more than an hour per day), interfere with their activities, or cause them great discomfort. ‘Obsessions’ is the names given to these thoughts, and ‘compulsions’ is the term to describe these actions.

5. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Children may encounter highly stressful experiences that affect how they think and feel. While they usually recover quickly, children who are exposed to massive stress, like an accident, the death or impending death of a close family member or friend, or violence, may suffer long-term effects.

When children develop long-term symptoms from such stress that are disturbing or that might interfere with their relationships and activities, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be diagnosed. Children who had PTSD may eventually develop other mental conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, anger management, and other developmental issues.

childhope philippines klinikalye mental health awareness

Childhope Philippines’ Psychosocial Intervention

Nowadays, many groups work together to assist children who have been exposed to conflicts, disasters, and crises. This is a critical step for guiding children down the route of avoiding psychiatric issue.

As one of the country’s non-profit organizations committed to helping and protecting children, Childhope Philippines answers to the call to create community-based psychological assistance. And as part of our extensive efforts, we have created many programs to assist children, particularly those living on the streets. Under our Street Education and Protection (STEP) Program is our psychosocial intervention.

We provide psychological help and counseling in order to address the community health issue of mental health. We help children and their parents deal with stress and learning issues through this program. This project also provides donations to shelters for neglected and abandoned children. We help children with their fundamental necessities, such as food and shelter.

In addition, we advocate for mental health education. We believe that open discussions and lectures about mental health encourage acceptance and help others understand those who have mental diseases. This knowledge also motivates people to seek professional assistance, if necessary, as well as in creating a sense of community.

portrait of asian kid raising mental health awareness

Raise Awareness on the Importance of Mental Health in Children

Join our team and be a volunteer to help us spread mental health awareness throughout the nation. You can also partner with us through donations. Your kind donation goes directly to helping and reaching as many children as possible.

Let us work together to promote mental wellness and develop initiatives that will improve the lives of children!

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