How does talking about mental health help?
- Speaking to your children about mental health is a good thing but it can be very difficult if they are young. You may think that they are not old enough to understand what you are trying to tell them or that you do not have enough information about mental health.
- Mental Health is a very important topic, and one that both adults and children should be taught about. Children also need to be taught that some words and phrases related to mental health are not okay to use.
- Your family will very likely hear and see about mental health in the media. But they will not always be taught the truth about mental health issues. If people only learn about mental health through the media, they will only really see all the negativity and will not learn the correct information.
- Let your family know that there are online resources and information that can be used if they want to learn more. There may even be a group in their area to learn more about mental health problems.
Discussing mental health is and can be really helpful. It starts to break down stigma and taboo about mental health. It enables people to be able to see what it is really like to live with a mental health problem. It also makes them aware of how to look after their own mental health. The discussions you can have with them can help them to realize that if they ever feel they may have problems regarding their mental health, that there would be NO prejudice against them for seeking help about mental health.
Helpful ideas on how to talk about mental health.
- It doesn’t matter the time of day or where you are. You can talk about mental health topics anywhere you like. Anywhere you are most comfortable to discuss it.
- Talk about how we all need to look after our own mental health and that there is nothing wrong with having emotions. We each have days when our moods change, and it is important to know that it doesn’t always mean that there is something wrong with their Mental Health.
- Talk, learn and read together about mental health. Learn about the stigma against mental health and the different ways we can overcome it.
- For younger children try and make it as simple as needed. You could also try and make it fun to learn about.
For myself personally, my older two daughters who are 6 and 8 years old. They both know I take medication to help keep me healthy. They also know that there are times where I can get really sad and quiet and that there are times where I need to be alone but that no matter what is going on with me, all three of by daughters are my towers of strength and keep me going when I am struggling.
We are each unique and there is only one of each of us. No matter what anyone says, you are amazing and perfect as you are. Mental illnesses are not something to be ashamed about.
Lisa Dodds is a mum to three beautiful daughters and has been married for six years. She loves spending time with her family as well as running their newsagents with her husband so her life is pretty busy but she loves it that way. She has a personal blog about her life with bipolar 2 and her ups and downs. She loves to write and play her piano. She also loves photography and hopes one day she will be able to take it up more and maybe one day possibly make it as a career.