How to Strengthen the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents

    Spending time with the family, promoting physical activity and encouraging contact with friends through digital tools are practices that improve mental health

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    At times when socialization restrictions such as the current ones that are in place must be maintained, attention must be paid to mental health, especially that of children and adolescents who tend to share freely with their peers.

    But how do you recognize attitudes that may be indicating an imbalance in mental health? According to World Vision experts, Arantxa León and Mauricio Sánchez, there are many symptoms of emotional distress that can be dealt with promptly.

    Some of these indicators are:

    • Decreased mood and feelings of hope.
    • Difficulty sleeping or excessive tiredness.
    • Increase in aggressive behaviors.
    • Inability to concentrate
    • Decreased enjoyment of activities that used to be pleasant.
    • Feeling of insecurity or fear.
    • Decreased appetite.
    • Disinterest in academic work.

    “If an adolescent or child exhibits abnormal behavior for a considerable time, it is better to put them under the supervision of a mental health professional who can accompany them in their recovery process,” said World Vision experts.

    However, there are also some practices that can be implemented from home to improve the mental health of this population:

    Create routines: Establish schedules to carry out activities such as getting out of bed, washing up, practicing some sport or physical activity, studying, supporting housework, among others, even if the minor is not attending classes.

    Explore areas of interest: Each person is different and their interests may vary, so the constant search for activities that strengthen their skills and intellect should be encouraged.

    Spending time with the family: The confidence and sense of support that children can feel can be reinforced through spaces for conversation and activities that can be done together.

    Encourage contact with friends: Through technological tools, communication and interaction can be reinforced.

    Promote physical activity: It is necessary to show children and adolescents that staying at home is not synonymous with sedentary lifestyle and those family activities that involve movement such as dancing, jumping rope, stretching, walking the pet or playing in some green area.

    León and Sánchez added that World Vision, through its iSmart platform, has developed specialized programs to maintain good mental and emotional health, which are available to citizens at a cost of US $ 10.

    A report by UNICEF Costa Rica indicates that 34% of adolescents and young people feel anxiety and have a pessimistic perception of the future, according to an investigation carried out in December 2020 in which it applied four opinion polls.

    Resonance Costa Rica

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