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Recognising the signs: Children's Mental Health

Active Futures

Children’s mental health is an essential reminder that our young ones’ emotional wellbeing is just as crucial as their physical health. In today’s fast-paced world, children face a variety of challenges that can impact their mental health and as parents, caregivers, educators, and friends, it’s essential to be vigilant and proactive in recognising the signs.  

This blog will outline the top 5 signs that you can look out for: 

  • Changes in Behaviour 

One of the most noticeable indicators of a child’s mental health struggles is a sudden and significant change in behaviour. Pay attention to shifts in their mood, interests, and activities. For example, if a typically outgoing and cheerful child becomes withdrawn, irritable, or disinterested in things they once loved, it could be a sign that something is amiss. 

  • Frequent Physical Complaints 

Children often express their emotional distress through physical complaints. If your child frequently complains of headaches, stomach aches, or other physical discomforts without any apparent medical cause, it may be a manifestation of underlying stress or anxiety. Consult a healthcare professional to rule out any medical issues and consider the possibility of mental health concerns. 

  • Sleep Disturbances 

Changes in sleep patterns can be a significant red flag. Insomnia, frequent nightmares, or excessive sleepiness during the day can all indicate that a child is struggling with their mental health. Poor sleep can worsen existing issues, so addressing sleep disturbances is crucial. 

  • Decline in Academic Performance 

A sudden decline in academic performance can signal emotional or psychological distress. If a child who typically excels in school starts struggling with grades, homework, or concentration, it’s essential to investigate the root cause, which may be related to their mental health. 

  • Changes in Appetite 

Alterations in a child’s eating habits can be indicative of mental health challenges. Pay attention to significant weight loss or gain, changes in appetite, or a sudden preoccupation with food. These behaviours may be related to emotional stress, and it’s essential to address them with care. 

There are other signs that you can look out for and more you can find out more information here. Recognising the signs of mental health struggles in children is the first step toward providing them with the support and care they need. If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your child’s mental health, consult with a healthcare professional or mental health specialist who can assess the situation and recommend appropriate interventions. 

If you’re looking to boost your knowledge on children’s mental health, we have a few qualifications available here.