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Child's Mental Health

A child's mental health during his/her childhood is the foundation of how his/her future personality is going to be. Being mentally healthy during childhood is an imperative factor because that's exactly how the child learns to socialize and develop socializing skills without any problems and learn how to cope with problems, withstand them and face them with utmost emotional strength.

This will only happen if the child is mentally strong and knows how to deal with such scenarios using his skills. Children who have always been mentally healthy have a positive way of living their lives and can normally adapt to new changes and function well in groups, among family and friends and in society.

Mental disorders and mental illness among children are serious issues because such disorders can completely change how children will carry on with their lives in the future. Either they will avoid talking to people, be scared of talking to people, have trusts issues, avoid being in groups or avoid making friends. Not only this, children who have suffered from traumas in their past can get panic attacks or chronic anxiety attacks in case they face a similar situation again at some point in their lives.

A mentally healthy child will be able to function normally in such a case, but a mentally ill child won't be able to do the same. Such children cannot handle their emotions in such cases, and therefore, it causes severe problems. The problems may include facing problems in learning things, facing problems in understanding really basic things in life, facing problems while talking to new people and facing problems while dealing with things that mentally healthy children can easily deal with.

If such symptoms are long-term and do not go away even after a long period, then it can be said that the child is suffering from a mental disorder and is not mentally healthy. Common mental disorders that hamper the child's mental health include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, autism, bipolar disorders, intellectual disability, schizophrenia, depression, eating disorders or behaviour disorders.

A child may suffer from disorders based on how he/she was treated in the past. Certain examples of how the aforementioned disorders originate in a child's life can be: the child was not properly treated in the past due to the parent's incapacity to deal with a child, the child was not given the love, attention and care that one needs to grow mentally, the child was abused in the past, the child was subjected to ill-treatment in the past, the child was told repeatedly that he/she is not good enough or the child may have been sexually abused in the past. All these examples lead to the child's mental health being severely disturbed.

According to a report of UNICEF, children with mental disorders and the children who are mentally unwell in India are mostly not diagnosed and do not reach out to someone who knows how to deal with such things because they are hesitant to do so. According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019, 50-60 million children in India were not mentally healthy and 90% of the children never reached out for help.

This is a very big number and a matter of concern as well because these children are the future of our nation. In addition to this, the report states that only 0.05% of India's health budget was spent on the mental health of children.

According to me, it is an alarming number because if they are not diagnosed and treated, they will never be able to live a normal life like us. I believe that the government should look into this matter of concern and spread awareness about the mental health of children by launching different schemes, campaigns, parenting programmes, conducting mental health workshops in schools and normalising talking about the mental health of children in society. Only then we will be able to save such innocent children and help them in making their lives beautiful.

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