Experts: How to talk to your kids about mental health

Summer is a concern for experts when it comes to a child’s mental health.As children enjoy time out of the classroom, they’re also without their normal routine and adult supervision that school provides. “During the summer they’re out of their routine. People that are normally paying attention are not paying attention,” said Nancy Eigel-Miller, executive director of 1N5.1N5 is a nonprofit in Cincinnati that works to increase awareness and education about mental health in teens and adults.Teachers and sometimes, even friends, are out of the picture for these few months.That can mean more responsibility for parents.”It’s really important now that parents are paying attention, they’re asking questions,” Eigel-Miller said.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14. “It’s a shocking age and I think we’ve seen a lot happen over the last two years. Our children have had to go through an experience that’s very traumatic. They haven’t been in their normal routine. They’ve lost a lot. The normal relationships that they developed in school have been lost in a lot of cases,” Eigel-Miller said.These tragedies prompt the need for prevention. Eigel-Miller said don’t shy away from the tough conversations. “Are you happy? Are you feeling OK? I noticed changes in what’s going on in your behavior. Let’s talk about that. What kind of feelings are you having?” she said.Eigel-Miller also stressed the importance of what she calls protective factors. Kids need to have friends, family members, hobbies that elicit joy.And if you have concerns, speak up. “I think because the numbers have accelerated so fast everyone has come to the realization that we need to make this a priority,” Eigel-Miller said.If a child is having a mental health emergency take them to the hospital.

Summer is a concern for experts when it comes to a child’s mental health.

As children enjoy time out of the classroom, they’re also without their normal routine and adult supervision that school provides.

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“During the summer they’re out of their routine. People that are normally paying attention are not paying attention,” said Nancy Eigel-Miller, executive director of 1N5.

1N5 is a nonprofit in Cincinnati that works to increase awareness and education about mental health in teens and adults.

Teachers and sometimes, even friends, are out of the picture for these few months.

That can mean more responsibility for parents.

“It’s really important now that parents are paying attention, they’re asking questions,” Eigel-Miller said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14.

“It’s a shocking age and I think we’ve seen a lot happen over the last two years. Our children have had to go through an experience that’s very traumatic. They haven’t been in their normal routine. They’ve lost a lot. The normal relationships that they developed in school have been lost in a lot of cases,” Eigel-Miller said.

These tragedies prompt the need for prevention.

Eigel-Miller said don’t shy away from the tough conversations.

“Are you happy? Are you feeling OK? I noticed changes in what’s going on in your behavior. Let’s talk about that. What kind of feelings are you having?” she said.

Eigel-Miller also stressed the importance of what she calls protective factors.

Kids need to have friends, family members, hobbies that elicit joy.

And if you have concerns, speak up.

“I think because the numbers have accelerated so fast everyone has come to the realization that we need to make this a priority,” Eigel-Miller said.

If a child is having a mental health emergency take them to the hospital.

Contributed by local news sources

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