Talking About Mental Health: October 2016

Throughout the school year, Dr. Lynn Woodford shares tips and resources for improving our mental health and well-being. Additional mental health resources for students and parents/guardians can be found on the board website.

Helping kids grow up mentally healthy is an important part of parenting. Here are a few things that CHEO suggests you can do to support good mental health in your children and youth.

Put your device down

When you are with your children and youth, show them that they are more important than your electronic device. Lead by example: put your own devices aside and spend face-to-face time with your kids.

Listen when they’re upset

When children and youth are upset, they just want you to listen and understand how they’re feeling. Try not to jump in with advice or reassurance. Listen is spelled with the same letters as Silent.

Focus on their strengths

Support your children and youth’s self-esteem by helping them to see their own strengths. Show that you see and appreciate kindness, empathy and trying hard, and not just achievements like good grades. For example, “That was kind of you to think of your brother” or “You worked so hard on that and you didn’t give up!”

Have a mentally healthy October!

Dr. Lynn Woodford is the Mental Health and Addiction Lead for the Upper Grand District School Board. Follow Lynn on Twitter @drlynnwoodford