Dubai: While what we don’t know, can’t hurt us, when it comes to mental health, that statement is dangerous.
Dubai based blogger Aditi Raturi suffered from depression and panic attacks from the age of 15.
She said: “If you have a cold or a fracture, it’s visible. People can understand it because they can see it.
“But people don’t talk about mental health.”
Having changed schools, she admits to being bullied by her peers and said that children can be “really mean”. Her advice to people is: “be there for the person”.
She said: “You don’t have to keep asking them what they are going through, just let them know that you’re there and encourage them to seek help.”
Some children do not understand the implications of mental disorders, but according to the head of wellness at Gems Modern High School, Sreekala Sureshkumar thinks that children these days have more empathy.
According to Sureshkumar, teenagers are usually aware of the changes they are going through, they just need someone to tell them that it’s okay.
“It’s important that they have a trusting adult they can talk to. The situation gets worse when they only speak to friends.
“Diet and exercise also plays an important role in positive mental health as mind and body go hand-in-hand.” Sureshkumar added that it is important to look at strategies for individual development in terms of career counselling or sports, to explore changing interests. “It is good to seek intervention at the earliest.”
Children might find it difficult to reach out; but sometimes parents are at fault for not addressing the situation, in case the child takes the first step.
Dubai-based mother, who chose to keep her identity undisclosed to protect her daughter, who suffered from anxiety, believes that “any problem can be solved by talking.”
She said: “A parent should be a child’s best friend. Initially it is difficult for them to accept the situation but they are the ones who can really guide you.”
She added that while signs are difficult to identify, it is easy for parents to notice changes in their child, which they should act upon, either by having a conversation with them or seeking professional help.
“Mental health is as important as any other illness.”