Psychiatry News and Blog
Pay Attention To Mental Health of Children
Funto Owolabi, a psychiatrist in Ibadan advised for parents to take the time to pay more attention to not only their children’s physical well-being but also their mental health. Funto Owolabi, who is a Resident Doctor at the Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso gave this advice at an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Doctor Owolabi believes that the mental health of a child just like the physical health is of vital importance as it determines your child’s behavior and actions throughout their individual journeys of life. Doctor Owolabi is further of the opinion that as a parent can take preventative measures to prevent their children from getting sick, a parent can also play a role in preventing the development of mental health problem in their children.
The mental fitness of anyone involves our psychological, emotional and social well-being. Mental fitness assists in establishing our coping mechanisms particularly, how we handle adversity; how we handle stress; how we handle success; how we make choices and how we manage to connect with others. He further added the importance of mental health from childhood right through our adolescence and also throughout our adulthood. The promotion of a child’s mental health, according to Doctor Owolabi means assisting a child with feeling secured; feeling loved; relate well with others and also foster their children’s growth at school and at home.
Parents have the responsibility of building the foundation of their children’s mental health in order to guarantee that they become mentally healthy adults. Ensuring that this foundation’s established in the children’s lives can be done by providing the children with a secure and safe home that is also filled with warmth, love, caring, respect and also have a trusting relationships with family and friends and also with other adults in the community. The children must be provided with opportunities in which they can talk about their experiences, feelings, time to play, learn and also succeed. Children also need to be praised when they succeed and also inform them of all the consequences that will result from misbehavior. Parents need to be aware of all the signs to be on the lookout for in their children with mental disorders in order for them to intervene early.
Doctor Owolabi advices on common signs that are indicative of a child or adolescent possibly having mental health disorders like, attention deficits, eating and sleeping disorders, depression, speech and language disorders, anxiety, suicidal behavior, bullying and aggressiveness, etc. He further believed that prevention was better than cure, according to Doctor Owolabi early intervention is one of the most effective ways to handle and deal with childhood and adolescent concerns on mental health.
Due to the complexity of mental health it is very common for parents not to address it as many parents are in denial of mental health problems and difficulties that their child may develop. Parents usually refuse to accept such a diagnosis and opt to attribute it to extraordinary circumstances like witchcraft and subsequently take their children to church for deliverance.