Routine mental health talks with kids help make home a stigma-free zone

[3 min read]

In this article: 

  • Mental health is an important topic of conversation for kids and parents.
  • Make talks about emotional well-being part of your family routine. 
  • Your kids may not want to talk about their feelings, but it's important for them to know that you are available if and when they do want to talk. 
  • Elizabeth Meade, M.D., a medical director in pediatrics at Providence Swedish, has tips to help you get the mental health conversation started at home.  

May is Mental Health Awareness month, which is a good time for parents and guardians to think about the mental health of our kids. 

Stress and anxiety are a normal part of childhood and adolescence. But when should you seek help from a health care professional? Elizabeth Meade, M.D., who is pediatric medical director at Providence Swedish (and a mom), advises parents to remain vigilant for signs of mental health concerns, such as disrupted sleep or changes in appetite.  

Talking with your child about feelings and emotions before a time of stress is also important.  

“They might not want to talk to you, but it’s important for them to know that you’re available whenever they do want to talk to you, and that they can come to you with anything,” says Dr. Meade. 

Watch this short video for other tips from Dr. Meade that can help you talk openly with your kids about their feelings and address their mental and emotional health needs. 

Learn more and find a physician or advanced practice clinician (APC)

If you have questions about vaccinations or your child’s wellness health, Swedish Pediatrics can help. If your kids aren’t up to date on immunizations, particularly the measles vaccine, call their pediatrician today to schedule a visit.

You can contact Swedish Primary Care to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician or advanced care clinician. If you or a child has symptoms, you can connect virtually with a member of your care team who can review the symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. With Swedish ExpressCare Virtual you can receive treatment in minutes for common conditions such as colds, flu, urinary tract infections, and more. If you don’t have a doctor, use our provider directory to find a specialist or primary care physician near you.

Information for patients and visitors

Additional resources

Providence teams up with Renton public schools to strengthen student access to mental health services 

Measles cases are on the rise. Here's what you should know.

Growing Up Safely: Immunizations + Health | Talk with a Doc Podcast

Youth mental health is focus of Providence and Sounders FC partnership

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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About the Author

Whether it relates to vaccinations, allergies, nutrition or sleep, The Swedish Pediatrics Team is committed to helping you find resources to ensure your littles grow up healthy and strong. Our clinical experts offer tips, tricks and clinical advice to help you take care of your children.

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