by The Bloom Report | 23 Apr 2023
Industry Commentary, Op-Ed
KIDS TODAY ARE FACING INCREASING MENTAL DISTRESS
Building Products with M.E.S.H. in Mind - Mental-Emotional-Social-Health
Play is one of the best ways to promote safety in kids’ mental health when it’s used to teach the skills they need to recognize, respond to and learn from their emotions. -Abigail Schlesinger, MD, Clinical Chief of Child and Adolescent, Psychiatry and Integrated Care Western Psychiatric Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
There is a well-documented mental health crisis among children and teens.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people, but in October of 2021 the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
declared a national state of emergency in children’s mental health. In these organizations’ combined 125 years of existence, this has never happened before.
Methods to help children develop MESH (Mental, Emotional and Social Health) skills to protect them from the risky behaviors and self-harm that are too often the result of their mental distress.
These skills include:
• Problem solving
• Conflict resolution
• Cognitive skills
• Communication strategies
Every stakeholder in the games and toys industry - inventors, manufacturers, retailers - has a crucial role to play in protecting the mental health of children through the development of MESH skills.
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