Karen Glistrup
 

More and more people suffer from mental illness

Every child will know someone who experiences stress, anxiety, depression or trauma - either in their own family or in their friends' families. 
Some adults say: "If children start asking then we have to answer them... But we will wait until they start asking the questions."
...but what happens if they do not feel comfortable about asking?
Other adults say: "It is not necessary to involve the children... They should not be burdened or have to worry." 
...but we are not protecting children by excluding them - they just start guessing and feel that it is their fault.

Children ARE involved

The fact is that children are involved on an existential as well as practical level. They sense much more than we imagine - even the little ones. When something is wrong, they will be confused and start to worry. Some children also develop disturbing behaviour, which attracts everyone's attention. This might even come across as if there is something wrong with the children.
However, children will settle and calm down when we acknowledge that they know something is wrong and we start talking with them about what is happening.

Speak with every child

When someone in a family suffers from mental illness the whole family will suffer a double blow. Firstly, from mental illness. Secondly, from the taboos and prejudices. These are issues that children are confronted by very early in life. This makes it even more important to speak with every child from a very young age.
Many teachers and professionals are unsure about how to approach these issues. This is understandable, as they themselves might see mental illness as a taboo.

 

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Read an artikel by Karen Glistrup with reference to Open Dialogue by Jaakko Seikkula:

The Power of Love in the Family

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