Child Mind Institute/YouTube
Today is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, and given the events of the past year, the day serves as a good reminder to take stock in how the littlest ones in our lives are faring emotionally and mentally.
Celebrities like Emma Stone, Gabourey Sidibe, and Tan France are speaking out as part of the "Getting Better Together" campaign for the Child Mind Institute, an independent non-profit dedicated to changing the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. In these candid videos, they discuss their own experiences with things like anxiety and depression, as well as ways of handling stressful events like the global pandemic, in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
"Everybody struggles with either a little bit of sadness or a little bit of worry or a little bit of fear around the idea of change in general," Stone offers in her video (watch below). "Everybody has some of those feelings inside whether they're saying it or not."
According to the CDC, 1 in 6 U.S. children (ages 2-8) have a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder with approximately 4.4 million kids (ages 3-17) having diagnosed anxiety and approximately 1.9 million kids in that same age group having diagnosed depression. And when children with a mental health disorder aren't identified or treated, the issues are exponentially compounded.
It seems like almost every day there are tragic headlines and news alerts that remind us how necessary it is to destigmatize mental health for everyone, especially our youngest. By prioritizing and investing in our children's mental and emotional well-being, by encouraging them to talk about their feelings and emotions, and by making mental health resources easily accessible for all, we really can give them a better future.