National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
By: Sarah Sanburn, LPC
Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, May 7th this year, was established to bring attention to to the importance of children’s emotional, behavioral and mental health. Children are resilient, we hear this often. While true, it is not the whole story. Building resilience requires supportive and understanding adults. Both children and their caregivers are struggling recently. As research shows us, there has been a consistent decrease in children’s mental health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health in 2021 due to the increase in mental illness in children nationwide. Rates of childhood mental health concerns and suicide have been on the rise since 2010 with the pandemic increasing these rates due to the surge in stress and instability.
As the bias around mental health services decreases and awareness is more widely understood parents are seeking therapy at a growing rate. However, there is a lack of resources for children’s mental, emotional and behavioral health. As a child therapist I see daily the impact that a lack of mental health resources has on children and their families. When I first talk to parents it is common to hear about how many calls they made or how many times they were turned away before getting their child into therapy.
I am lucky enough to have two wonderful healthy children, ages 7 and 2. Being a mother is the most amazing and the most challenging thing I have ever done, I am sure most parents feel similarly that showing up for their kiddos emotionally is incredibly rewarding and also difficult. I find that when I make time to care for myself I am able to be more present for my children. Making time to recharge is a huge piece of the challenge to parenting amidst all of the laundry, soccer practices and activities. Reading, especially listening to audiobooks, has given me comfort in the knowledge that I am supporting my kiddos to grow into resilient humans.
Here are a few of my favorite parenting books:
JENNIFER EULBERG, MA, LPC
Welcome Jennifer, our new blogger!
Jennifer is a counselor at Sandhill who specializes in depression, self-esteem, and grief & loss. Get to know Jennifer as she shares her perspectives on life, contemplates value themes, and offers gentle encouragement.
THANK YOU to Stefanie Pisarkiewicz, LPC for her blog contributions from November 2014 - February 2019!