BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, in collaboration with My MindSight and NHS clinical psychologists, organised mental health seminars for parents and children on Saturday 27 October 2018 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, and on Saturday 8 December 2018 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Leicester.
My MindSight is a newly-launched anti-bullying and mental health awareness group formed by four mental health professionals.
The seminars educated parents on various issues relating to the mental health of children, including factors contributing to mental health difficulties, identification of early warning signs, techniques to safeguard mental health and, importantly, where to seek additional help. The seminars also outlined the impact of social media on the mental health of children.
At least one in four people in the UK experience mental health problems at some point in their lives and there are a growing number of children and families struggling with mental health difficulties. Over 50% of mental health problems in adulthood begin by the age of 14. This issue is compounded by a delay in receiving the required help, preventing many sufferers from achieving their personal and career goals. Equipping parents with the relevant knowledge and skills to promote their children’s mental health and identifying early signs of mental health difficulties has been shown to yield better long-term outcomes for children and young people.
Special workshops for children aged between of 10-14 years were held in parallel to the workshops for parents. These sessions conveyed important messages relating to mental health through appropriate mediums for the children. The sessions concluded with an enlightening debate on the positive and negative aspects of social medial with their parents.
Krishna Patel, a parent who attended the workshop in London, shared his impressions: “The seminar was a real eye-opener in understanding mental health issues and making sure we, as a family, make the necessary interventions to prevent both our young children developing these difficulties. Sessions like these are invaluable in safeguarding our children’s well-being. Thank you for organising such a well-structured and interactive event.”