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How to know when its the right time to talk to you kids about mental health

WCNC Charlotte has partnered with PRIDE Magazine to discuss issues in the community, such as mental health.
Credit: WCNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Since the COVID pandemic, addressing mental health has become a bigger priority for adults. 

But what about kids? When should parents start talking to their kids about addressing mental health issues?

Kathy Rogers, Executive Director of Mental Health America of the Central Carolinas, spoke to WCNC Charlotte about mental health care dedicated to children. 

"If we have a broken arm, we wouldn't think twice about going to the emergency room," Rogers said. Roger said that's the same way people should think about addressing mental health with kids.

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WCNC Charlotte asked Rogers how young is too young for parents to start having conversations with their kids about these issues. 

Rogers said that parents can start as early as just eight years old.

"We have young people dying by suicide," Rogers said. "More and more young people at younger ages are experiencing higher degrees of anxiety. We live in a world where they're more tuned in even at eight to what's going around them… when we were young our brains aren't fully developed and, you know, and often these decisions are made in a quick moment."

Mental Health America of the Central Carolinas offers a couple of different solutions for addressing these issues.

First, MHA is identifying disparities that black and brown people face in mental health.

According to the data MHA has collected, roughly 7 million African Americans and another 10 million Latinx Americans suffer from mental illness. So, MHA is diversifying staff in efforts to provide counseling from experts who look like the community.

Cost and lack of insurance are also barriers.

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As a result, the Central Carolinas branch offers free therapy, as well as short-term counseling, to those who qualify.

Its stories like these are the reason WCNC Charlotte has partnered with Pride Magazine. If you'd like to learn more about the resources that may be available to you, you can read more on this story here.

WCNC Charlotte has partnered with PRIDE Magazine to bring stories out of each issue to your tv screens.

If you or a loved one are facing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, there is help readily available. You can call Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat with them online. There are also resources in North Carolina available here and in South Carolina available here.

Contact Kia Murray at kmurray@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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