...Because Children Have Feelings, Too

“Who does depression hurt?” the narrator asked.

“Everyone”

You’ve probably heard it a million times - - the popularized Cymbalta commercial advertising antidepressants for depression relief. Like this commercial and many others, you find that the actors are often adults.

What happened to everyone, though?

I believe our society places a lot of emphasis on adults’ mental health wellness but what about our children? Many adults diagnosed with mental health illnesses displayed symptoms and red flags during their childhood that were overlooked, not properly addressed, and/or completely ignored altogether. Can you imagine if their challenges would’ve been catered to at the root? What if the proper help had been given to them in their youth?

How do we cultivate mental health wellness in our young girls and boys?

When I reached out to Akshita of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated about the opportunity to create a collaborative blog post, I was excited to find that she was totally game for it. When she suggested the idea of teaming up to write on the subject of mental health and young children my wheels started turning.

As a mom, I thought about my own son and his unique challenges as a male - - a black male. What am I doing to make sure that he is not only physically taken care of but that his mind is healthy, too? I then began to think about myself and other adults of all races. No matter who you are, a lot of your thought processes stem from the fundamental ground work laid in your adolescent years. In other words, who we are today as adults have a lot to do with how our mental processes shaped our behavior as children.

What if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self on a rough day? Maybe it was a day in your younger years when you didn’t feel the prettiest or smartest. What would you say?

Your mind is powerful and your thoughts manifest into actions. Read on as Akshita and I write our open letter to all young girls and young boys. Hopefully you’ll find that mental health in children is a very relevant topic and use it to encourage a child today.