In recent years, mental health has been a key topic and focal point in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding talking about how we feel and asking for help. Part of that conversation is making sure that we talk about everyone’s mental health, regardless of age, race, gender, or anything else. It’s critical that mental health remains a central focus now and moving forward into the future. That’s why teaching kids about mental health should be a top priority.
Here are some of the reasons why mental health is so important for kids:
- Getting Help - Teaching kids about mental health from an early age is crucial to helping them understand that it’s okay to ask for help. Nearly 50% of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14, so beginning to talk about mental health when children are young can result in more kids speaking up and getting the help they need.
- Teaching Positive Emotions - Focusing on mental health from an early age also helps to cultivate positive emotions in children. This teaches them how to handle their emotions and respond appropriately. When children are exposed to these affirmative practices, they become better equipped to handle difficult and stressful situations when they arise in their own lives.
- Various Other Benefits - Teaching mental health to kids from an early age can have many other benefits for children, including higher self-esteem, improved attitudes about school and other students, better coping and problem-solving skills, increased empathy, respect for diversity, improved academic performance, decreased aggressive behavior and bullying, decreased behavioral issues, and reduced likelihood of drug use, emotional stress, anxiety, depression, and suicide.
If you’re looking to start teaching children about mental health, there are certain mental health activities for kids that you can start incorporating from an early age in order to build positive mental health practices.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta believe that mental health is vital to a child’s overall well-being and we promote positive mental health in all of our clubs. We aim to serve the children in our communities, especially as students return to schools for in-person learning. One of the ways we do this is through our afterschool programs which provide homework help, fitness activities, workforce development, literacy activities, and more.
Each of our clubs provides kids with a safe place to play, learn, exercise, and receive nutritious foods. Find out how you can get involved with our organization by signing your child up for a club or afterschool program, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!