Discover more from Dr Rachel
HEADLINE: Child mental health referrals up 39% in a year in England
What can we all do to help?
This statistic is heartbreaking as much as it is extremely frustrating as it could have been avoided.
I am not going to talk about the damage that has been done and why it was not OK to do. I wrote many emails, letters, complaints, spoke about it on my podcast. Tackled it locally within my children’s school and basically foretold all that would happen to children and teenagers.
What I am going to do it give you some guidance on what to do to help your children and teenagers.
Your child’s amygdala will probably be enlarged due to the constant doom, gloom, fear and anxiety that has been surrounding them. That means that their brain will have an even more negative bias and be screening just for threats and danger. You can change this. It is not set in stone. Stop the doom and gloom.
They will tend to be ignoring any good or positive. This should not prevent you from making their environment as caring, nurturing, supportive, safe and secure as possible. Make it bright, welcoming and fun.
Do not have news on. It is biased and not reflective of reality anyway. If you do have the news on - point this out. Look for other sources of news that can give a differenr perspective - your child needs this!
Let your child know that what happened in the past few years (and now!) was not OK and it is definitely not OK to not be OK. The messaging that it is ok to not be ok is dangerous. We need to support children to talk about how they feel but not say that how they feel is what the status quo should be. They are reacting in a normal way to abnormal circumstances. They need to know this.
It is not normal for a child to have anxiety or fear or any kind of control coping strategy.
As parents you need to empower yourself. There is far too much disempowerment done within institutions. You are your child’s advocate. Do not easily give that up. If you need support to support your child then get it, your child needs you. It is not healthy for there to be a third party between children and their carers, despite the narrative that this is a ‘safe space’.
Do not let your child/teen have free and easy acess to the internet. It is NOT SAFE. You cannot monitor it all and so many studies are showing how bad it is for children. Please just stop allowing them access. Just say no, if they react to that then they are addicted and you definitely should be saying no.
Children need love and kindness more than anything else. Remember that. They need you to love them, be kind to them and be the role model for them to emulate.
This was just a short missive in reply to a very sad headline.
If anyone needs anything to help then please reach out. I am pondering having a Q and A session about this, let me know if you think you would find it useful.
“Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.”