Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month Officially Launches at MWI
The Bermuda Government officially launched the all-new initiative, Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month, earlier today at the children’s ward of the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI). The initiative will last for the entire month of May and, as the name suggests, seeks to raise awareness for children’s mental health and well-being.
Present at the launch were, among others, Minister of Health Kim Wilson, JP, MP, MWI Acting Chief Operating Officer Preston Swan and Child & Adolescent Services clinical manager Vakita Basden.
TNN’s Trevor Lindsay spoke with Minister Wilson and Ms. Basden at today’s launch.
Minister Wilson believes that events such as the one earlier today help raise awareness that anyone of any age can suffer from mental illness, from three to 103 years old. From her observations, there is still a certain stigma attached to seeking help for mental health issues.
“ If someone broke their arm, they’d go to the hospital right away. Depression, anxiety and the like are mental health challenges that can be identified and treated,” she said. “ As a part of this campaign, we need to raise awareness with parents, caregivers, or anyone who may notice a shift in a child’s behaviors or the children that they interact with, to make sure that they openly discuss those changes and discuss mental health issues with their children, to show people that health is both mental and physical. [A mental illness] is no different from a physical illness.”
Ms. Basden says that MWI and BHB as a whole, are looking forward to their anti-stigma campaign and hope for their message to reach everyone across the island.
“ Everyone who comes through our doors is different, so every course of intervention and treatment will be different and specific to what each client might need, so what is very important is that each client is at the center of the plan and that the plan is about that client and how to get them on the road to recovery,” she explained.
Ms. Basden says that the easiest way for parents to see what their child might be going through and where their headspace may be is to simply ask questions and, more importantly, to listen to them.
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