Given how critical the early years are for lifelong brain development and functioning, learning, and wellbeing, the theme for Mental Health Week 2021 in Western Australia will be: Mental health starts with our children.
The theme recognises how a person’s mental health reflects the interaction of a lifetime of individual and lifestyle factors with a range of environmental, community and family risk factors.
For both children and adults, taking care of basic needs for shelter, food, warmth and rest are essential to mental wellbeing.
Early childhood is the ideal time to build a strong foundation for an individual’s health, emotional and social wellbeing, connection, resilience, and development.
A child’s early years represent the fastest period of brain growth and development, marking a time of rapid change. These early years are critical for lifelong learning and well-being.
When children have what they need to develop well in the early years, they can thrive and be healthy now and throughout their lives.
How we raise, educate, support, play, talk to, engage and influence children in their formative years has a lasting impact on a person’s mental wellbeing long into adulthood.
A person’s mental health reflects the interaction of a lifetime of individual and lifestyle factors with a range of environmental, community and family risk factors.
Positive wording helps children to think and act positively, and to feel capable in a wide range of situations. Our encouraging words stay with them for life. Our tone of voice and choice of words shapes their inner voice and self-confidence.
Babies and children practice love for life. The more they can feel love now and feel loved, the more generous with, and accepting of, all kinds of love the child will be, right through every stage of their life.
Talking, reading, playing, singing, warm hugs, affection, active listening, eye contact and smiling, gentle movement, and spending time in the fresh air with babies and toddlers are important in shaping thinking, emotional patterns and relationships for life.
For more information head to https://mentalhealthweek.org.au/