“Mental health – the way we think or feel about ourselves and what is going on around us, and how we cope with the stresses of life – affects our sense of wellbeing as well as our physical health. In this sense, everyone has mental health” www.beyondblue.com.au
GAPDL Communities for Children believes Mental Health for children starts with wellbeing. In celebration of National Children’s Week, Gladstone News spoke to GAPDL’s Communities for Children (CfC) Executive Officer, Wendy Morris about how the community can support children who may be having a tough time. “Little people have big emotions and how the adults in that child’s life react to those emotions, makes a big difference,” Wendy said. “Research tells us that one in seven young people aged 4 to 17 years old experience a mental health condition. We also know that fifty per cent of mental health conditions emerge before the age of 14 years. We need to acknowledge our little people’s emotions can be confusing for them, so it’s important that they are supported by adults to guide them through these challenges and help them to build coping strategies. By ensuring a child knows they are safe and loved no matter what, we help them to develop the building blocks of positive mental health in the future.”
GAPDL Communities for Children is a family-friendly program initiative funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. GAPDL Communities for Children are committed to their vision ‘Living, learning and growing together for stronger families and stronger futures.’ Working with the community, Communities for Children empower families to function more effectively, advocating that parents and carers have the most critical role to play in their child’s health, wellbeing and education. “We want to ensure families have access to the necessary support resources and networks that will help develop a stronger family-friendly culture,” Wendy said. The Communities for Children programs support children and their families from diverse cultural backgrounds. The programs assist parents, carers and early childhood professionals to gain access to information, resources and training.