Britain’s Prince Harry went public this weekend with his mental health struggles. He spoke about the shutting down he went through after his mom died when he was twelve. It’s not a surprise that someone who was so young when he lost his mom in a very public and publicized accident might have some residual depression or anxiety. His disclosure also explains the Heads Together campaign I read about a couple of weeks ago. He’s started a mental health awareness campaign with brother Will and his partner Kate. Love or hate the British monarchy and all it stands for; fighting mental health stigma is a good thing in my opinion.
Harry’s story got me looking up some other mental health stories circulating right now.
Helping moms influences outcomes for kids
In the US, a study from the University of Rochester concluded that mothers with depression who are offered psychotherapy not only fare better, their kids benefit too. Mothers grappling with depression may not see their young kids in the best light and punitive parenting can result. According to researcher Elizabeth Handley says, “If you can change the moms’ lens in the way that they see their children, then you can set the kids off on a more positive trajectory.” Win-win.
Watch the words you use about mental health
You know when people joke that needing to put their keys in the same place every night when they come home means they have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)? OCD Isn’t Cute – And This Comic Shows Why We Need to Stop Acting Like it Is comes from Everyday Feminism and though it’s older (2015), they cycled it through Facebook this weekend (which proves some content has a long expiry date). Reader comments were negative and positive (sounds like Facebook) and pointed out that many mental health diagnoses are reduced to popular mocking that furthers stigma for those living with mental illnesses. This one in particular must sit with those of us in communications- write accurately and with respect.
BC schools tackle mental health where kids spend most time- the classroom
In a series on youth and depression in schools, Rosemary Newton profiles three mental health programs in BC schools, including Richmond, Haida Gwaii and Abbotsford. Learning to cope with fear, anxiety, and depression includes practical lessons in mindfulness and breathing techniques. It also includes developing an awareness of others’ mental states so students can help one another when things get challenging.
Image: Hotblack, Morguefile