10/10/23 blog post
10 ways to support children’s mental health
tips for boosting your child's mental wellness on World Mental Health Day
October 10th is World Mental Health Day, a day started and recognized by the World Health Organization to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and offer resources to help address them.
Kids don't wear their thoughts on their sleeves, and many are dealing with challenges we don't know about. They might be struggling with their mental health and may need the guidance of a caring and trusted adult to help them navigate these moments. That’s why the On Our Sleeves movement is here to share ten ways you can support a child’s mental health today.
Click the links for even more information on each topic and to find free resources to help your child on the path to mental wellness. Together, we can work to make sure that mental health is part of the upbringing of every child.
1. Start conversations that really matter to them.
Engage in open and honest dialogues with your child. As a parent, caregiver or educator, you want to know what is going on so you can give help and support. Ask about their thoughts, feelings, and concerns regularly.
2. Put the focus on gratitude.
Teach the value of gratitude by taking a moment each day to reflect together on the positives that happen each day. This can help us focus on the good even during challenging times.
3. Remember the benefits of kindness.
Emphasize the importance of showing kindness and empathy through words and actions. Kindness can lower stress, improve friend and help build self-esteem.
4. Talk about healthy use of technology
Have a discussion about the potential negative effects of excessive screen time, cyberbullying, and comparison to others online. Encourage kids to balance online activities with real-life interactions.
5. Encourage healthy ways to cope with stress
Stress is a natural part of life, but if left unchecked, it can have physical, mental, and emotional effects. Encourage healthy ways to cope with stress, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or engaging in hobbies they enjoy.
6. Teach healthy sleep habits
Proper rest is essential for their physical and mental well-being, so work on establishing consistent bedtime routines that include wind down time and one on one time.
7. Have fun with movement and an active lifestyle
Our moods, behaviors, thoughts, and physicality (or physical abilities) are interconnected. By encouraging kids to move each day, we can empower them to remain physically and mentally fit.
8. Fuel mental wellness through nutrition
Teach them about the importance of balanced nutrition. Discuss the impact of food choices on energy levels and mood.
9. Help them strengthen positive connections
A feeling of belonging is important for children to feel that they matter, and that they are valued. Helping them create a network of support can help them feel empowered.
10. Join the On Our Sleeves movement
On Our Sleeves is leading the movement for children’s mental health, to build a world where mental health is part of the upbringing of every child. Our mission is to give expert-created resources to all U.S. communities so everyone can understand and promote mental health for children. Join the movement to receive more free tips on support children’s mental wellness throughout the year.
Click here to join the movement today.