Lesson 6 Mental Health Issues

Mental health problems can also affect children. Specifically during childhood, mental health is fundamental for children in order to succeed in cognitive, emotional and social development. 

A mental health problem will manifest as a change in the child’s behaviour and everyday habits, that will inevitably interfere with school, family and friendships.

Notably, the transitional period of adolescence is characterised by higher prevalence of mental health disorders. According to UNICEF, “In 2019, it was estimated that one in seven adolescents experience mental disorders. This amounts to an estimated 166 million adolescents (89 million boys and 77 million girls) globally.” Anxiety and depressive disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorders in this age group.

Access the global data about children’s and adolescent’s mental health 

  • Depression
  • Self-harm
  • Anxiety
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Long-term physical illness
  • Parents with mental health problems
  • Death of someone close 
  • Bullying or physical or sexual abuse
  • Taking on adult responsibilities
  • Migration: 
    • Stressful experiences prior to departing, during the journey and in the destination country
    • Travelling alone (stress, fear, exploitation)
    • Discrimination, marginalisationin destination country
    • Low acculturation
    • Poor parental mental health condition 
  • Low SES(income loss, financial strain, parental unemployment) 

Parental Mental Health

Parents who suffer from mental health conditions as they are also exposed to stressful and traumatising experiences. Thereby, they develop stress, anxiety, anger management issues and other mental health problems.

Parents that experience mental health disorders are more susceptible to negative parenting that might be expressed as parental rejection or harsh punishment or even family-related violence. 

Mothers’ mental health is correlated to a great extent to that of their children. It has been shown that maternal PTSD and depression are related to PTSD expressions, behavioural problems and maladaptation in children. 

On the other hand, the emotional wellbeing of caregivers affects positively children’s mental health. Mentally balanced families can foster family unity which is a major protective factor for children’s mental health and wellbeing. 

If you want to learn more information, refer to Module 5: Mental Health.

Source: https://pixabay.com