Children's mental health is a national emergency, here's what you can do?

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Dr. Jen Leyton-Armakan, clinical psychologist shares some tips on how to improve your child's mental health.

Whats American Academy of pediatrics declared?
toward the end of 2021 the american academy of pediatrics declared a national emergency for children's mental health they said the problem existed before the pandemic but the challenges with covet 19 have worsened the crisis so what can we do in this new year to help improve children's mental health i talked to dr jen leighton armicon who is a licensed clinical psychologist for some suggestions let's jump right into the conversation the story was bad prior to the pandemic in terms of the state of the you know mental health of children and adolescents in our country the numbers were getting worse and then when the pandemic hit we see a exacerbation of those already existing issues and that is especially the case for young people and people of color um and so it's an important call to action on a policy level um across you know institutions and really in our families and our communities yeah and it seems like the age range it's not just teenagers it goes down to five years old
How do we solve?
how do we solve this can we solve this or what is it going to take you know i think a culture shift is is urgent um and that culture shift um is sort of away from making sure we have this sort of perfect words or the exact sort of um uh you know conversations that that that um you know we tiptoe around like i'm doing right now sort of feeling anxious about the topic um and and move towards more openness um focusing first and foremost on slowing ourselves down as parents as providers neighbors adults in order to study ourselves and make space for um you know children to feel our uh our energetic presence to be trusted adults that's the primary protective factor is uh for children to have trusted adults that they can talk to yeah and i i know you've mentioned that you know somebody needs to be there to listen to them to be that supportive person in their life can it be just a
Is this going to take something more radical?
small change though or is this going to take something more radical it's it's more radical so what we need well we need we need both um okay we need a combination of the the structural changes that the relief you know we see the numbers as they are in emergency departments um five to to eleven-year-old showing up in emergency rooms increased 25 you know um girls uh suicide attempts you know increasing 50 when looking at the data from 2019 to 2021 there is that urgency right and there's the the more daily um you know mindfulness around these issues talking about these issues is really important right talking about um how we're feeling talking about um issues around inclusion is really important right how do we make spaces that marginalize people that all of us feel safe and feel you know free to be ourselves there's also an organization that she suggests to turn to for help it's called
Our minds matter!
our minds matter and it's a program here in dmv schools you might remember we actually highlighted them on our road to a better community series so you can find that story at better community

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