May 24, 2024 9:24 pm
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Expert: Practical tools, neuroscience help parents build mentally strong kids

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Danielle Smith, Public News Service

As Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week kicks off in Pennsylvania, an expert said parents can help their children have a healthy brain to thrive.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study showed 57% of teenage girls reported being persistently sad and depressed, and 24% had reported having made plans for suicide.

Charles Fay, child psychologist and president of the Love and Logic Institute, said a healthy brain is the foundation of good parenting, and Keystone State parents could foster children’s ability to become mentally strong, responsible and successful.

“Parents creating a home where kids are really expected to take good care of themselves and show them how to do it, with eating, the diet, with sleep,” Fay outlined. “We’re seeing more young people getting hardly any sleep and one of the biggest reasons is they have their phones or other devices in their bedrooms.”

For children and teenagers struggling with depression, anxiety or adjusting to challenging situations, the state offers mental health resources online.

Fay pointed out recent statistics show a significant number of young people experiencing difficulties do not receive services. For individuals receiving help, the percentage is low. He emphasized the importance of parents making their best efforts to tackle this concerning issue.

“The national average of young people ages 12-17 getting services for severe depression is right
around 41% to 42%. Pennsylvania is right in that range,” Fay emphasized. “What’s scary about that is, those are kids who are actually getting help.”

Fay noted the importance of guiding children to translate their natural talents into fulfilling careers. He believes the path leads to greater happiness. His book, “Raising Mentally Strong Kids,” outlined a strategy combining brain science with practical tools to cultivate resilient minds in children.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.