At Nip in the Bud, we provide detailed resources, fact sheets and short films about child mental health conditions.
Here we explore 5 ways to raise awareness of child mental health.
- Educate yourself
Getting up to speed is the first step to raising awareness of mental health conditions. As adults, it’s important for us to understand the causes, symptoms and treatment options for common mental health issues. From autism and anxiety to PTSD and Conduct Disorder, the types and severity of mental health conditions can vary.
It’s vital for parents, teachers and carers in particular to be able to recognise signs of certain conditions. Often children won’t be aware of, or understand, behaviours that are linked to mental health conditions. So it may be up to the adults around them to help them understand and express what they’re going through and potentially seek help on their behalf.
- Avoid assumptions
It’s unfortunate that there is still a great deal of stigma attached to child mental health conditions. For example, we may have certain assumptions about how a child with ADHD acts or have preconceived ideas of how a child with Autism Spectrum Condition experiences the world.
Assumptions are not helpful when it comes to raising awareness of child mental health conditions. Focus on the facts and remember that each child is unique!
- Speak openly to children about mental health
It can be tricky to initiate conversations about mental health with children. Often, adults are nervous about saying the wrong thing, causing offence or making a situation worse.
However, it’s important to create an ongoing dialogue about mental health with children, young people and other adults. Open communication is key to ending the stigma of mental health conditions and can help raise awareness in a powerful way.
- Know where to find help
If you have concerns that a child in your care may be suffering from a mental health condition, it’s important to seek help from the right sources. In the first instance, you can speak to your GP, a school SENCO or your local CAMHS.
You can find lots of information about common child mental health conditions on the Nip in the Bud website. We also offer a free presentation specifically for teachers who wish to understand and raise awareness of mental health conditions. Sharing useful resources with friends and fellow parents is a great way to raise awareness about mental health.
- Support child mental health causes
There are numerous charities and organisations who do brilliant work to raise awareness of child mental health conditions. You can volunteer in various ways, share resources or even donate to these causes to help them continue in their efforts.
Nip in the Bud® was set up to encourage awareness about mental health disorders in young children. These relatively common problems which begin in childhood and adolescence can have wide-ranging and long-lasting effects, affecting a child’s relationships, their educational attainment and job opportunities.