Mental Health Under Discussion More Than in Previous Generations

A recent national study from The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contained some surprising information on suicidal ideation and suicide attempts by young people. The report aggregated data from ambulance transports of young people to hospitals nationwide and saw: 

  • Diagnoses of suicidal ideation and attempts doubled in recent years
  • The average age at the time of these evaluations was just 13 years old
  • Nearly half of these visits (43 percent) were children between 5 and 11 years of age 

“With the recent events in our township, it is critical now more than ever that we address children’s mental health as early as possible,” said Dee Stone, Trustee Vice President. 

Recently Beech Acres Parenting Center conducted a survey of 798 parents nationwide who have children aged 18 and under that lived with them in their homes. The survey provided some valuable insights into the evolving perceptions and practices of parents regarding the mental health of their children. The study shows that acceptance of mental health as a key factor of overall health is becoming increasingly mainstream among parents

Among the most compelling results of the study is the dramatic generational change in parents’ view of mental health. While just 39 percent of parents said they had discussions about mental health when they were kids, now 87 percent of them are discussing it as parents with their children. 

“It is encouraging that parents are open to having these important conversations with their children,” said Stone. 

Here are some tips to help parents deepen relationship with their children and improve their general mental well-being. 

  • Be intentional. As a parent it’s easy to focus only on managing what needs to happen in the moment. Instead, take time to focus on “the long game” and think about how you want your children to be as adults. 
  • Next, discover a child’s strengths. Too often parents approach children looking to fix what is broken or correct what is wrong. Try focusing on their unique strengths, on what they do “right” to build confidence and increase resilience. 
  • Finally, give children the gift of your full attention and energy. Spend time together, listening deeply to what they have to say and engaging fully in the conversation or play. Let go of all the “should haves” and “could haves,” accepting everyone for just who they are. Making the most of these moments will broaden understanding of a child’s feelings and deepen your relationship. 

The next topic of the Anderson Mental Health Collaborative speaker series is “Building on Your Child’s Strengths for Mental Health Well Being.”

The event, set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday,  Sept. 4, is hosted at Anderson Center, 7850 Five Mile Road.

Speakers include representatives of the Beech Acres Parenting Center and child development experts.





Information from the Anderson Mental Health Collaborative and Beech Acres Parents Center.