May 1-7, 2016, is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness week. What a fabulous opportunity for us to celebrate families, institutions, and organizations that support each other and especially the little ones as they work through mental health issues. Mental health and early detection provides children with an opportunity to flourish in spite of the obstacles placed in front of them.
According to the Mayo Clinic, children who are physically, mentally or emotionally abused can exhibit a variety of behavior, emotional and mental disorders such as: delinquent behavior, abuse of others, suicide ideation, low self esteem, challenges with intimacy and/or trust, inability to cope with stress, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, personality disorders, anxiety, sleep disturbances and more! Unfortunately, children who are orphaned or abandoned do not have the luxury of escaping such mental health issues.
This week, it is our hope and prayer that every child be placed into a loving, caring, family. Some of the abuse children suffer today can be treated and even reversed; this cultivates hope for the child and a bright future. Still, every child needs to be in an environment where they can have such an option. Pastor Johnny Carr wrote a book named Orphan Justice, and in this book he has set forth a worthy pursuit by saying “…God made the family for children”.
Mental health in children is not only vital to they, themselves; but to the family, neighborhood, community and society as a whole. It starts with awareness! Let’s be mindful this week about our role in the mental health of children and their families.