How to Identify and Navigate Mental Health Challenges
With a new school year beginning, your focus as a parent will shift from the relaxed vibe of summer to the more specific concerns that come along with classroom environments. For children, the classroom can be stimulating, exciting, and just plain fun. However, it can also be scary, stressful, and intimidating, and your child will need help and support in navigating any negative mental health struggles and upsetting emotional impacts.
Before we delve into this topic, let’s first determine how mental health is defined. According to MentalHealth.gov, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”
With that in mind, let’s talk about how you can help your child’s mental health can thrive and have a happy and healthy school year.
What Are Some Signs That My Child Is Struggling With Their Mental Health?
If your child is experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors, this could mean that their school environment is creating some challenges that they don’t know how to manage by themselves:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low – or no – energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking or using drugs
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings
- Expressing a desire to harm themselves or others
How Can John Nichols, Psychotherapist, Help My Child Handle Mental Health Challenges This School Year?
Here at John Nichols, Psychotherapist, I provide therapy for individuals and couples, and it’s my goal to help clients find their way to their healthiest selves.
- Every client I see is different, and they all have their own story and own unique set of circumstances and problems. For that reason, I don’t try to make all of my clients fit into the same theory or school of thought. I use processes and models that I see as working uniquely for them. With that in mind, I use an eclectic approach to be the optimal way to help my clients navigate their mental health.
- Besides that, I also operate from a wellness perspective. I don’t see my clients as sick or broken. We all have “stuff” that gets in our way from time to time; it may be a complicated relationship, or perhaps it’s a traumatic experience of some kind. Clients often may not even be aware of what “it” is; they only know they’re not happy and that life has become unmanageable. Such feelings are not uncommon for children to experience.
- We all have perfectly natural feelings, thoughts, and emotions that become imbalanced and begin to get in the way, which is certainly true for children and young adults. Therefore, my job as a therapist is to help young people learn to deal with these issues, putting them back into that healthy range to lead the lives they want and deserve. I can help your child manage and recover from:
- Oppositional and defiant behaviors
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Healing from abuse
- Healing from trauma
- Issues with attachment
In conclusion, as you and your family head into the Nashville school year, always remember that I am here for you to help you with challenges you may face. At John Nichols, Psychotherapist, I’m committed to all my client’s mental health and well-being, and we will work together to help your child have the best Nashville school year ever!