Saturday, April 20, 2024

Mental Health: Why All Parents Should Make it a Topic of Discussion

Mental Health: Why All Parents Should Make it a Topic of Discussion

Thanks to awareness campaigns and more people sharing about personal challenges of this nature, mental health is much more talked about than a few years ago. But are you doing enough to ensure the wellbeing of your immediate family?

It’s not enough for a psychologist North Sydney based or your friends to talk about mental health. To prevent unnecessary problems for your family members, parents should take up the responsibility of making ‘mental health’ a common topic around the dinner table.

Here’s why it can be one of the best parenting techniques you’ll ever apply.

Common Challenges Families Face

First up, it’s important to be realistic about the types of challenges families deal with in our modern society. You shouldn’t only be worried about making your budget work or what your kids want to study once they finish school. Considering the emotional wellbeing of your family is vital, because the following challenges are much more common in the younger generation than you may realise:

  • Issues with body image
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-harm
  • Bullying
  • Suicide

When parents don’t create a safe environment for kids and families to discuss challenges like these, situations can deteriorate and have disastrous outcomes. By partnering with our children, we can possibly have better results play out.

Benefits If You Talk About Mental Health with Family and Friends

The advantages to your family, when they become more cognisant of everyone’s mental health, prove it’s something no parent should ignore any longer.

Break the Stigma

A family member may be hiding personal challenges like anxiety or depression, because they feel embarrassed about it. Making it normal to talk about mental health makes it easier for someone facing a crisis to be honest about it and get the help they need.

Identify Problems Before There’s a Crisis

Mental health challenges can get worse over time, so the sooner you take action the better. By discussing your day-to-day experiences in terms of emotional wellbeing, you may be able to identify an issue the person isn’t even aware of. They can seek assistance and prevent it from becoming too overwhelming.

Boost Relationships with Better Communication

You can learn to talk about difficult topics like mental health and in the process you’re improving your family’s skills in terms of general communication. They gain experience sharing their point of view and see in practice that it’s safe to share personal details and viewpoints with you. This enables better communication that strengthens family relationships.

Also, when even such a complicated and controversial topic becomes normal in your household, family members will feel more comfortable raising just about any topic with you. Therefore, there’s less risk of children keeping secrets that could cause them harm in the long run.

Teaching Skills to Young and Old

Furthermore, when talking about mental health, you’re bound to touch on subjects like ‘healthy communication’ and ‘personal relationships’. When these are discussion points, younger family members can learn from older individuals and have more wisdom to implement in their own lives.

Maintain Overall Wellbeing of the Entire Family

Mental health challenges like stress, depression and anxiety can affect people negatively in an emotional but also a physical way. By increasing the chances of your family members getting the help they need for their mental health, it could help maintain physical health too. Therefore, you’re benefiting their quality of life overall.

The Ripple Effect

The skills you teach your children in your home will one day determine the kind of adults, friends, employees and parents they’ll be. By making them comfortable talking about mental health, they’ll one day show others that there’s no shame in discussing the topic and admitting personal challenges. It could just be what their friends or colleagues need to obtain victory over the issues they face.

What you do at home today can affect more lives in future than you imagine.

Types of Counselling You May Need

Your idea of therapy and counselling may prevent you from utilising this tool to benefit your family. To broaden your understanding of the help that’s available out there, here’s a list of just a few therapy types your family can consider:

  • Relationship counselling to assist a couple in working through challenges they face
  • Structural family therapy, to help improve family functioning
  • Play therapy to have insight on smaller children’s experiences and perceptions
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy, specifically appropriate for anxiety and depression

Will you book couples counselling North Sydney parents often schedule to prevent tension in the household? Or does your child need mindfulness-based stress reduction? Luckily, with access to a wide range of treatment options, your family can identify the type of therapy most appropriate for your current situation.

In Summary

The truth is you and your family are living at a time in history where stress is the norm in many people’s lives. And that’s just one of the many problems that can spark mental health challenges.

But, you don’t have to be part of the statistics!

Key to preventing societal pressures and other factors to overwhelm your loved ones is being proactive. Talk about mental health so your family can feel safe admitting their personal challenges. Together you can find a solution and have the best possible outcome.


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