Many individuals with mental health issues show early symptoms throughout childhood and adolescence
Mental health is an essential determinant of overall health for both children and adults, say experts.
Childhood and adolescence are crucial periods in one’s life in terms of mental health, professionals said during the fourth instalment of a series of webinars on mental health organized by Sajida Foundation with Dhaka Tribune as its media partner.
The webinar hosted on Friday focused on the importance of children and adolescent mental health.
During this time, children and adolescents develop cognitive and social-emotional skills, experts said, adding that it affects their ability to undertake adult roles in society as well as their mental capacity to deal with it.
"Training teachers to screen in terms of identifying the symptoms of mental health problems among students is a great way to reach out and refer them to mental health professionals,” said Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist Dr Anupama V.
According to the speakers at the webinar, many individuals with mental health issues showed early symptoms throughout childhood and adolescence, which were either not recognized or not addressed.
They added that it has led to more severe mental health issues during adulthood, limiting their chances of leading a fulfilling life.
National Institute of Mental Health Associate Professor Dr Helal Uddin Ahmed said that there are ample policies, documents, and strategies related to adolescent mental health but now it’s time for the implementation.
Speakers said that it is crucial to promote psychological well-being in children and adolescents, in order to ensure that growing up, these individuals are able to live a more fulfilling and happy life.
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Sajida Foundation’s intention of enhancing focus on mental health, through a portfolio comprising financial products and services, specialized social enterprises, and community-centric development programs; resonates well with its effort to deliver meaningful and sustainable change in the lives of people from all strata.
Currently, the foundation is moving forward with the goal of developing and delivering quality mental health services for the lower-income and ultra-poor population, through an integrated, collaborative approach backed by evidence-based research.