MIAMI (CBSMiami) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Child Mind Institute is launching its ” Dare to Share” campaign, which features celebrities sharing their personal mental health struggles. It’s part of an effort to encourage kids to talk about their own mental health issues.
Grammy winner Pink is part of the new campaign. She shared in a video from the Child Mind Institute that, “In my early twenties I used to get pretty awful panic attacks” but added that, “It does get better and there are beautiful moments waiting for you.”READ MORE: Renewed Call For More Safety Measures After Deadly Rickenbacker Causeway Crash
Emmy-nominated actress Maisie Williams also appears in the “Dare to Share” campaign and says, “Just telling someone about it made me feel better.”
According to the CDC, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and behavior problems are the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in children. Among U.S. children aged 12 to 17, one in five experience a major depressive episode.
“We want to monitor to make sure that they’re functioning. So, if it goes on for two weeks of a child being consistently sad and down and not interested in things they used to enjoy, then we might think this is starting to seem like a depressive episode and not just a momentary setback,” says Jamie M. Howard, senior clinical psychologist from the Child Mind Institute.
Howard says when talking to children about mental health, parents shouldn’t jump in with solutions. They should ask open ended questions and continue checking in.READ MORE: As Investigation Into Haulover Plane Crash Continues, News Details Emerging About Good Samaritans Who Rushed To Help
“With empathy and earnestness ask, ‘so tell me what’s going on, I’ve noticed you haven’t been spending time with your friends lately’ or ‘I noticed your grades are slipping,’ and don’t jump to sort of reprimanding them, but say, ‘What’s going on?'”
Mental Health experts also say parents shouldn’t be afraid to broach the topic of suicide with their kids since it is a leading cause of death among teenagers.
“If someone is not suicidal and you say to them, ‘Hey, have you been thinking about killing yourself,’ they will not think, oh, no, I wasn’t, but now I am. That’s not how that works,” Howard says.
Half of mental health disorders begin before age 14, according to the Child Mind Institute, so experts say start conversations early.MORE NEWS: Rebuffed By Spirit, JetBlue Goes Hostile In Takeover Bid
In April, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended children be screened for anxiety starting at age 8.