Addressing mental health at an early age through bibliotherapy

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The National Alliance for Mental Health reports that one in five children will experience a treatable mental health problem before the age of thirteen.

Mental health is common, treatable and nothing to be ashamed of.

According to the CDC, ADHD, anxiety, and depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children.

Among children aged 3 to 17, approximately 6 million young people live with ADHD, 5.8 million suffer from anxiety and nearly 3 million suffer from depression.

Brian Wrayformer Disney writer and award-winning author of children’s books joins Gaelle Guyardo the host of the national health and wellness show Bloom with how he uses picture books to tackle the topics of mental health issues in young people.

Way told Guyardo, his recent book, Fen Gray Drop“is dedicated to helping children through difficult times of grief and sadness by helping them deal with difficult emotions.”

Here are some suggestions Wray shared to help parents open lines of communication with their children.

• Perform daily checks. Whether it’s at the dinner table, on the car ride to sports practice, or while you’re getting them ready for bed, ask the kids what made you smile today? Was there anything that upset you? Who did you talk/play/have lunch with today? Although these questions seem simple, these open-ended questions provide a window into your child’s daily experiences and can help identify any alarming trends or changes in behavior or experience.
• Listen to children with empathy. Kids don’t always need you to solve their problems, and sometimes you can’t solve their problems! What they need is to know that you are there to listen without judgment. This is especially important to let your children know that they may come to you with concerns or when they have made a mistake or mistake and that you will listen calmly, kindly and with non-judgmental compassion.
• Create positive moments with children. Children need bonding experiences. They need to create memories with those they love to help them feel grounded, safe, loved, and supported. It can be anything from cooking dinner together, to going for walks in the park, to family movie nights, or creating art projects together.

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