On Father’s Day, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, released a statement concerning the importance of youth and teen mental health. He urged other parents to accept that youth and teen mental health issues are common and require as much attention as physical health issues. As a father of two, he spoke about the need for parents to be aware of the the signs of mental health issues to catch them earlier and get treatment. He related all of this back to huge issues in the UK such as suicide and homelessness–which are often related to mental health issues.
Physical & teen mental health intertwined
“In particular, it is a time to reflect on my responsibility to look after not just the physical health of my two children, but to treat their mental needs as just as important a priority.”
Prince William brought up a brilliant point about teen mental health: it’s just as important as physical health. One cannot prosper or reach its potential without the other, yet more often than not physical health is put largely ahead of mental health. This is because mental health is often something you cannot physically see until it’s too late. Prince William is right when he says it’s a parent’s responsibility to look after both, not just one or the other.
Mental health issues don’t equal failure
“Recent surveys have found that over half of parents have never broached the topic of mental well-being with their children, and a third would feel like failures if their child needed help. That’s so sad – no parents whose child needs help is a failure. Taking the next step and actually getting help is what matters.”
Many parents think if their son or daughter struggles with a mental health issue, they did something wrong. This is far from the truth. Mental health issues are often a result of many factors, many which a parent cannot control–all you can do as a parent is offer love and support. Instead of trying to hide that your child’s mental health issues, seek out treatment and help them overcome their challenges.