Children need proper care for sound mental health


DHAKA, March 4, 2019 (BSS) – Experts on mental health have opined for taking proper care from the early stage of a child so that they don’t face any intellectual health problem in future, and grow up as a healthy human being.

Manha, a three years old girl, is quite normal in her physical growth. But her parents could not notice some of her unusual attitudes. She does not pay heed to anyone when they call her.

She remains busy with her activities even never make any eye contact with anyone. One doctor told BSS the story of Manha in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in the city.

In this case, the physician said, if parents give more attention to the child and follow the doctor’s suggestions it is possible to avoid any severe mental problem in future.

“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 society and can grow as well-rounded, healthy adults,” Director of The Institute of Pediatric Neuro-disorder and Autism (IPNA) under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Prof. Dr Shaheen Akhter said.

Children and young people are growing with mental health problem alarmingly as they did not have appropriate interventions at the early age, she said.

Mental health problems include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct non-response to what is happening in their lives, Pediatric 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 Prof. Dr M A Mohit Kamal observed.

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

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), in Bangladesh, mental disorder affect 16.1 percent of adults and 18.4 per cent of children. However, stigma, discrimination and the treatment gap is high in this country, it (WHO) said.

Furthermore, mental health services tend to be concentrated in large cities. WHO Country Office for Bangladesh supported the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a national mental health policy aimed at ensuring good mental health for all people.