Thursday, February 18, 2016

Young Minds Matter.

Huffington Post has a special theme going on with Young Lives Matter, a series of pieces regarding mental health in children. It seems to be UK lead, but I've seen North American sources with the hashtag pop up yesterday.

There's been very little about children's mental health that's crossed my path. This is great for all sorts of reasons. First, it'll help parents talk to their kids. It'll help kids get help. But maybe more abstractly, it'll also change the future for a lot of adults, who would otherwise live in unnecessary pain. If coping strategies and help can be accessed as children, it'll save a lot of lives.

I also hope that introducing the language of self-care, and mental health awareness to children and schools will help the overall culture of mental health.

The above art work is by my nephew. He painted a two-sided wooden lion, which I've since kept. One side was sad. I thought it was beautiful, but it was also painful to see. I don't know if he'll grow up to have any mental health struggles, but he's in my family, which means he does have a predisposition to it.

I would hate for him to live through what I've been through. His being gendered as male also means he's less likely to talk about his emotions, his sexuality, and feelings related to his masculinity. Males are also higher risks of substance abuse, violence and suicide.

So, for now, I'll try and keep talking to him and doing art projects with him and his brother.

Art helps. Love helps. Hugs help.

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