Clinician Helen Davidson to talk child, adolescent mental health

Mental health for kids: Helen Davidson is speaking at a local school on Monday July 17.

Mental health for kids: Helen Davidson is speaking at a local school on Monday July 17.

Child and adolescent mental health clinician Helen Davidson will visit Port Macquarie Public School on Monday and Tuesday.

Ms Davidson will present staff with the latest children’s social and emotional wellbeing program, Highway Heroes.

“Helping children learn the skills of social and emotional wellbeing is now a mandated part of the Australian National Curriculum - a wonderful initiative to help children develop resilience and positive mental heath from the get-go,” she said.

Her visit includes a presentation to parents on Tuesday.

Ms Davidson said helping kids develop habits of mental hygiene gives them a head start in building resilience and positive mental health.

“Teaching children how to take care of their mental health and well-being is a great beginning to a pathway of resilience and positive mental health,” she said.

“Helping children become aware of how they think about difficulties that they meet every day is a key point and a very good start.

“Your thinking style – whether it is generally more positive or optimistic - or tends to be negative or pessimistic – is a key determinant of our mood and psychological well-being.

Helping children become aware of how they think about difficulties that they meet every day is a key point and a very good start. - Helen Davidson

“Children gain enormous benefits from being helped to be more aware of what their tendency is, and our experience is that they are very keen to learn this type of information.”

Ms Davidson said that key habits that can help children develop positive mental health are:

  • Awareness of thinking style
  • Learning how to adopt habits of positive thinking
  • Recognising their feelings, and,
  • Learning how to calm themselves from strong feelings of frustration, anger and worry

Ms Davidson said that children who are helped to develop these habits have a greater chance of developing resilience and the mental toughness to thrive and flourish despite the inevitable life difficulties.

“There has been an explosion of knowledge in neuroscience over the last decade to do with helping children to develop positive mental health.

“It’s time that this became part of every child’s education and health experience.

“With the growing awareness that these are not ‘soft’ skills, but rather, are based on scientific evidence and have positive outcomes in every sphere of a child’s life, we are seeing the increase of this information in school curriculums.

“This is a very positive trend that we are encouraging through our publications and parent workshops, details of which can be seen on www.bestprograms4kids.com”

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