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Early intervention: Babies’ mental health matters

Early intervention: Babies’ mental health matters

When talking about mental health, you may only think about it affecting adults and older children, right? Did you know that babies can struggle with mental health challenges, as well?

As babies, the way we are cared for builds the foundation for our social and emotional development. The way we are treated as infants teaches us about who we are, and this strongly shapes who we will become.

It’s crucial for parents to build a strong foundation for social and emotional development during the first three years of an infant’s life because it’s on this foundation that future learning and relationships will be built. Below, we offer tips on how to promote strong, positive mental wellness in your young child.

Engage in affectionate and nurturing interactions

Holding, singing, rocking or talking to infants are interactions that might seem natural to parents. But, these exchanges are more fundamental to a child’s development than one might know. These connections provide your child with the stimulation his or her growing brain needs. Positive interactions send messages to your baby that he or she is valued. As a result, your child will grow up knowing to treat others in a similar manner.

Study your

Let’s talk: How to discuss your behavioral health illness

Let’s talk: How to discuss your behavioral health illness

You’ve been diagnosed with a behavioral health illness. What do you tell people? How do you share? Who do you tell?

You may have mixed emotions over these questions, and that’s perfectly fine. Know that being scared is normal, and anticipating how friends, family, coworkers etc. will react to your diagnosis is natural.

The decision to openly talk about your diagnosis is a personal one, and you don’t have to share until you’re ready. Do realize, however, that you may never be 100 percent ready. Think about it – are we ever 100 percent ready to do anything that’s difficult in life? But, stepping out of your comfort zone, knowing you have people who are there for you and facing your fears head-on, will likely help you move forward in your journey toward recovery.

Below, we offer some advice to keep in mind when preparing to discuss a mental health diagnosis.

It’s just an illness.
It’s plain and simple. You live with it just like any other person with an illness – diabetes, for example – lives with it. And, just like any other illness, it can be managed and treated once identified.

Most people just need to be educated.