Family Center launches mental health awareness campaign for children and adolescents.
A spokesperson said: âThe Family Center, in partnership with RBK Advertising + Design and One Communications, has launched a public awareness campaign to draw attention to the mental health issues of children and adolescents in Bermuda. The campaign was launched this week during ‘Mental Health Week’, with the specific objective of educating the general public on how to recognize mental health issues in children and adolescents and where to look for them. ‘aid. “
Dr Sandy De Silva, PsyD, Executive Director of the Family Center, comments: âNow is a particularly important time for us to talk about mental health and how it can affect our children and adolescents. The past year and a half has given us challenge after challenge. As adults we go through these tough times, and maybe even struggle ourselves, so it’s easy to ignore how this can affect our children emotionally and mentally.
âA recent omnibus poll found that 82% of Bermuda residents agree that the pandemic has increased mental health issues among children and adolescents. However, only around 67% of residents surveyed agreed that they know how to identify when a child is experiencing stress and anxiety and just under 50% of residents surveyed were unable to identify a child or adolescent with pain. of depression.
âBased on data from the past year and a half on the impact of the pandemic on children and adolescents, Family Center has developed a campaign that focuses on educating parents and caregivers on the signs of mental illness in children and adolescents. Dr De Silva notes: âThe aim of our campaign is to raise awareness of what mental health is and the role it plays in a child’s daily functioning and overall quality of life. It is essential for the public to know what local mental health resources are available to them, both for children and their families. “
Dr De Silva points out that âMental health problems can manifest differently in children than in adults. Additionally, children may not even have the language to properly express their concerns, fears, and worries, or may be too embarrassed to express their feelings. As a result, many parents may be unaware that a child is suffering inside. Our goal is to shed light on some of the significant and subtle behavioral changes that could be symptoms or warning signs.
âThese include kids who no longer take pleasure in the things they liked to do, irregular eating and sleeping patterns, a change in performance at school or even on the athletic field. These are just a few of the behavior changes we want parents and guardians to be aware of so that they can ask their child or teen how they are really feeling. We want to help give a voice to children and adolescents so that they do not have to suffer in silence.
Dr De Silva adds: âIt is important to teach adults how to empower their children with the language necessary to express their thoughts and feelings. There are ways to ask your child what’s going on without invalidating them or telling them that they are overreacting. We want adults to know the resources available to help their children and adolescents.
âFamily Center knows that in today’s world things haven’t been easy and adding that to an already demanding list of day-to-day responsibilities is no easy task. However, the initial investment and care in the early years of a child’s life is crucial to ensuring that we have healthy children, who will become both mentally and physically the leaders of tomorrow.
Kathryn Kelly, President and CEO of RBK Advertising + Design, said: âThe pandemic has brought about a complex array of factors such as uncertainty, social isolation and angst that have impacted health. mental health of children and adolescents. This campaign highlights some of the important changes in mood or behavior that could be warning signs that a child or teen is suffering internally.
âThe goal is to educate more parents or guardians on how to read the signs that something is wrong and give children the help they need. We have been very happy to donate our services to the Family Center over the years by supporting their initiatives to help the children and families of Bermuda. We commemorate the continued efforts of the Family Center and the incredible work it does every day to make a difference.
Frank Amaral, CEO of One Communications, said: âWe are delighted to support the Family Center campaign to educate and help Bermuda raise awareness about mental health. As a community, we need to unite in the midst of a pandemic, recognize the signs in our children and make sure they are able to deal with their emotions and feelings in these unprecedented times. We thank the Family Center for their continued commitment to supporting and helping families and creating a healthier Bermuda for our children.
âIf you are concerned that your child or teen is showing signs of mental illness or for more information about Family Center programs and services, call 232-1116 or visit www.tfc.bm.
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