It’s no secret that parenting can be challenging. But it can be more so when your child suffers from a mental health issue. Many parents don’t even know that the behavior their child is exhibiting could be classified as such, and therefore don’t seek help. Others fear the stigma that is associated with mental health problems. No matter what their reason may be for not speaking with a doctor, the result is almost always frustration and a strain on the entire family.
To help families who are suffering, a new podcast has just been launched that focuses on this very issue. Child in Mind, presented by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, is comprised of several 20-minute podcasts focusing on different childhood issues. Each involves an expert in family or child health and a parent or child. The topic of the pilot episode is anxiety.
Other episodes in the series focus on topics including self-harm; ADHD; eating disorders; how the adolescent brain develops and what this means for parenting; the evidence for use of medication for child and teenage mental health problems; the science behind bonding with your baby; and what we know about the impact of sexual material online.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has been outspoken about the importance of seeking help for mental issues in children and families. This is what she had to say on the topic:
One in three adults still say they would be embarrassed to seek help for their child’s mental health. No parent would fail to call the doctor if their child developed a fever, yet some children are tackling tough times without the support that can help them because the adults in their life are scared to ask. It doesn’t need to be like this.
Throughout my work with family and child support organisations, one thing that has stood out to me time and again is that getting early support for a child who is struggling to cope is the best possible thing we can do to help our children as they grow up. Knowing this, both William and I feel very strongly that we wouldn’t hesitate to get expert support for George and Charlotte if they need it.
Middleton encourages families to listen to the series and podcasts and to share them with friends. Doing so may prevent a lot of grief and frustration for many people. You can find the series on iTunes or the centre’s Soundcloud account.