Mental health is a prevalent topic. We have seen time and again the negative impacts of our unhealthy life styles, life choices , and societal pressures effecting us not just physically but mentally as well. Children and adults suffer everyday with uncertainty and shame due to the lack of empathy and awareness towards mental illness.
According to World Health
Around 1 in 5 of the world's children and adolescents have a mental disorder.
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability, affecting 264 million people.
About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14.
Almost 800 000 people die by suicide every year; 1 person dies from suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in individuals aged 15-29 years.
How do I learn and incorporate a better understanding about Mental health as a parent
Remove the stigma around the conversation : Talk about mental illness among your family members, start the conversations, teach the young ones the correct way to address this stigmatic issue.
Educate yourself and your children: Many international and locll mental health organizations and professionals offer books , podcasts , websites , seminars , webinars to educate about mental health and the stigma around it. Enroll in such activities, subscribe and learn for free. It does not cost anything to learn something that might someday save a life.
Children books: Like parenting books, there are many children books out in the market written by mental health professionals for children to teach them about mental health through stories. Bring these stories into your homes to have safe spaces for such conversations and a long lasting positive effect on the ethical upbringing of our young ones.
Empathy is the key: You do not have to suffer personally through an illness to understand it. Having empathy towards the people who suffer on daily basis is an important societal change that should be lead by the parents in homes.
Use the correct language to address the illness: As a society we have become numb to name calling and shaming our vulnerable and weak. Learn and use proper terminology to address this particular health crises and the people suffering from it.
It is not a made up disease: Just because the ailment doesn't present itself physically doesn't mean it is imaginary. Medications, many a time have a long lasting negative effect on the patient, constricting their ability to carry simple day to day conversations and routines. Be gentle and patient with such people around.
Make dua: Whenever faced with ease or pain, dua is the only comfort that brings us out of despair. Make dua and teach your children duas of protections and seek Allah's refuge from al kinds of harm.
Treat mental Illness as a disease: Please keep in mind that mental illness like any other disease may occur at any point and time in life given the family health history or unfavorable life circumstances.Associating the illness to lack of faith might have a detrimental consequence for the patient.This illness needs proper treatment alongside spiritual duas just like in any other illness.
May Allah Subhanahu Wa TALA protect us and our loved ones from all harm and diseases, Ameen.
Prophet Muhammad Salallahu Alayhi Wasalm taught us a beautiful dua
اَللّٰهُمَّ اِنِّیْ اَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِوَالْكَسَلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْھَرَمِ وَالْقَسْوَةِ وَالْغَفْلَةِ وَالْعَیْلَةِ وَالذِّلَّةِ وَالْمَسْكَنَةِ وَاَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنَ
الْفَقْرِ وَالْکُفْرِ وَالْفُسُوْقِ وَالشِّقَاقِ وَالنِّفَاقِ وَالسُّمْعَةِ وَالرِّیَاءِ وَاَعُوْذُبِكَ مِنَ الصَّمَمِ وَالْبَكَمِ وَالْجُنُوْنِ وَالْجُذَامِ وَالْبَرَصِ وَسَیِّئِ
( المستدرک للحاکم، ج: 2، ص : 1987 )
O Allah! I seek refuge in You from helplessness, laziness, cowardice, miserliness, senility (weakness of old age), harshness, heedlessness, scantiness, humiliation and deprivation, I seek refuge in You from poverty, infidelity, disobedience, opposition, hypocrisy, bad reputation and pretence, I seek refuge in You from deafness, dumbness, insanity, leprosy, leucoderma and from all bad diseases.
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