Children need extra care for sound mental health

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DHAKA, Oct 9, 2018 (BSS) – Experts emphasized on taking proper care from the early stage of a child so that he or she does not face any mental health problem in future and grow up as a healthy human being.

“The mental wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults,” Director of The Institute of Pediatric Neuro-disorder and Autism (IPNA) under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Professor Dr Shaheen Akhter told BSS.

Alarmingly, it was seen that children and young people who are experiencing mental health problem, did not have appropriate interventions at an early age, she said.

Mental health problems include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives, Paediatric Neurodisorder expert Dr Muzharul Mannan told BSS.

There are some common mental health problems like depression that can affect children and young people.

“Teenagers are more likely to experience depression than children,” Specialist in Mental Health, Child Psychiatry Professor Dr M A Mohit Kamal told BSS.

The experts stressed good physical health, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, having quality time and the freedom to play for sound mental health.

Other factors are also important, including feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe. Such things make them more interested in life and make them hopeful and optimistic, they said.

Different surveys suggest that more children and young people having problems with their mental health because of negligence from their elders.

Self-harm is a very common problem among young people. Some people find it helping them to manage intense emotional pain, through cutting or burning themselves, for example. They may not wish to take their own life, Dr Kamal added.

The experts suggested, if the children have a warm, open relationship with their parents, they will usually share their problems with them.

One of the most important ways parents can help is to listen to them and take their feelings seriously, even a simple hug can make a huge difference.

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