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“Thanks for Asking and Listening” – The 3rd Edition of Handling Unexpected Emergencies (HUE) Workshop Talks About Mental Health Emergencies in Children

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In this edition Manipal Hospital Old airport road highlights on the critical aspect of mental health emergencies in children, emphasizing the importance of recognizing red flag signs early for optimal healthcare outcomes

BENGALURU, India, Jan. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The post-pandemic era has brought forth a new set of concerns, particularly in the realm of mental well-being for people of all ages, especially children and adolescents. There has been a disturbing and increasing number of children and adolescents presenting to acute care settings with anxiety-related emergencies and depression-related self-harm incidents, particularly post-pandemic. Globally, 10%-12% of children and adolescents experience a mental disorder, yet the majority do not seek help or receive the necessary care.

Handling Unexpected Urgencies and Emergencies (HUE) – in Mental Health in Children

With this thought in mind, the Paediatric Emergency Room at Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road conducted the 3rd edition of the “Handling Unexpected Emergencies” (HUE) workshop, aptly named “Thanks for Asking and Listening” on the 6th and 7th January 2024. This edition places a spotlight on the critical aspect of mental health emergencies in children, emphasizing the importance of recognizing red flag signs early for optimal healthcare outcomes.

Dr. Gnanam Aram, Consultant, Paediatric Emergency Room, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road coined the philosophy behind HUE as “Recognize early, Respond aptly, and Remediate optimally”. HUE, with a successful history of over 30 workshops conducted in the last 6 years, has been instrumental in recognizing and responding to health-related crises early. This ethos has now been extended to encompass mental well-being in children and adolescents. The 2nd edition of HUE focused on empowering caregivers of children with special healthcare needs, with the knowledge and basic skills to handle urgencies and emergencies in this cohort.

Dr. Gnanam Aram said, “The ‘Thanks for Asking and Listening’ workshop is a fundamental step in our path to address the growing mental health emergencies in children. By recognizing early signs and responding appropriately, we aim to create a learning health community and promote mental health equity.” She added, “The goal was to break the stigma, shatter the silence, and promote safe mental health in children.”

The term “mental health crisis” may be daunting, but it is imperative to recognize that mental health is just as crucial as physical health in shaping a child’s development. Failing to address mental health, psychosocial development, and behavioural problems in this cohort has far-reaching consequences, extending into adulthood and limiting opportunities for fulfilling lives.

Parents, teachers, and primary caregivers play a pivotal role in identifying red flag signs associated with mental health crises. Recognizing the external pressures such as social media influence, negative early experiences, and academic demands, parents and teachers must create a supportive atmosphere for children to thrive. This workshop was meticulously designed to address both caregivers (on the 6th Jan) and Paediatricians (on the 7th Jan).

Headed by Dr. Gnanam Aram, Consultant, Paediatric Emergency Room, the workshop witnessed eminent speakers such as – Dr. Jagadish Chinnappa, Consultant – Paediatrics, Dr. Chitra Shankar, Consultant, Developmental Paediatrics, and Mr. C R Satish Kumar, Clinical Psychologist from Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road, Dr. Yesheswini Kamaraju, Founder – The Reach Foundation for Community Services, Child And Adolescent Psychiatrist, Mrs. Devi Mani, Founder – Skooc, and Ms. Siddhi Hegde, Clinical Psychologist who delved into different aspects of mental health issues in children and adolescents, emphasizing that mental well-being is deeply influenced by developmental processes at multiple levels.

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