New Year Resolutions for Parents — Part 1: Supporting Childhood Mental Wellness

New Year’s Resolutions tend not to last very long…

But maybe that’s because you’re not doing them right.

This year, why not resolve to put practical, productive and achievable plans into action…

To promote mental wellbeing for your children (and yourself).

The combination of each of these small acts will help you to help your children have a prosperous year.

And happy and healthy children make for happy and healthy parents!

Read more…

What Have Smart Phones Done to a Generation?

New research on teens and the effect of smartphones has been circulating around the internet…

And the findings are both surprising and somewhat disturbing.

They come from psychologist Jean M. Twenge, who has been researching generational differences for 25 years.

For the majority of her career, Twinge noted that these differences changed relatively naturally and modestly.

But in 2012, something changed.

‘I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviours and emotional states’, she explains. 

‘In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.’

So what happened in 2012, to instigate such a sharp change?

Read more…

RCH National Health Poll: What Parents Need to Know About Childhood Mental Health

The Royal Children’s Hospital national health poll findings have just been released.

They shed a lot of light on how families with young children understand and deal with mental health issues…

And emphasise the importance of identifying the warning signs…

Of understanding the issues…

And of seeking out early intervention. 

Of the 2000 parents surveyed in the poll…

A third believed that mental health problems in kids will ‘work themselves out’ over time. 

About a quarter did not know that physical symptoms can be signs of mental health problems. 

And fewer than half felt confident about where they could get professional help. 

These numbers may seem surprising, as the proportion of children exhibiting mental health challenges is at an all-time high.

But the warning signs and symptoms of mental illness or emotional problems can be hard to identify.

Read more…

Anxiety in Younger Children – Why Early Intervention Matters

You’re probably familiar with the term ‘early intervention’…

(Which means taking action as early as possible to support children’s physical, mental and emotional needs.)

Well, research has shown that dealing with child anxiety as soon as possible can be hugely beneficial…

And when early intervention is not applied?

This often leads to more serious anxiety related challenges in adolescence and adulthood…

So what does excessive child anxiety look like?

Read more…

Cannabis use and Psychosis in Adolescents

Recent news of a teenager charged with the murder of one of Melbourne’s homeless citizens has many people worried. News has speculated that the accused young man had recently started using cannabis, and this changed his behaviour.

It’s important to remember that media portrayals of mental illness tend to be inflammatory, and can often imply a causal link between drug use, mental illness and crime.

Nevertheless, it’s a timely reminder for parents and their adolescents to improve their awareness of evidence-based research in the area of cannabis use. There is an association between cannabis use and mental illness, but it’s not a causal link.

This means that cannabis use has not been shown to directly ‘cause’ mental illness, but there is a potential for it to exacerbate difficulties in someone who is already vulnerable to mental illness.

Read more…

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