Many children exhibit mental health concerns. More often we are seeing our young ones in distress for a variety of reasons. Some of them are simple to diagnose and can be related to sugar crashes or tiredness. Sometimes it can be more complicated. As difficult as it may be to remain patient, it is important to understand that our children may need some support. Protecting children from stress or anxiety is near to impossible, but we can help them in other ways.

Children exhibiting anxiety, nervousness, depression, ADHD, sensory disturbances, excessive anger, depleted coping, sleep disturbances, may be experiencing vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Supplementation shows promising results and requires a knowledgeable professional.

Supplementation with magnesium have resulted in reduction of anxiety and improved sleep and cognitive function in children.

Supplementation with Omega 3 fatty acids containing EPA and DHA have many health benefits, studies have shown deficiency in Omega 3’s have been directly linked to depression, anxiety and ADHD. Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of fatty acids as well.

Supplementation with B vitamins is safe and decreases anxious symptoms. Deficiencies in B vitamins have a direct effect on the nervous system including anxiety. Low levels of B12, folate and B6 are associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Supplementation of iron in children showing deficiency symptoms, can contend with anxiety, nervousness and sleep disturbances.

Supplementation of zinc can lessen hyperactivity symptoms and reduce impulsivity.

Supplementation of a probiotic/ probiotics can assist the gut micro-biome in production of relaxing neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA.

Herbal supplements can be added with the help of an experienced professional. Passionflower, catnip, linden, lavender, valerian, chamomile and lemon balm have all shown safe and effective results. Complex herbal formulas specified for children are available and regulated for safety.

Many vitamins and minerals can be obtained through the diet, as well as, supplementation. Our wellness consultants are always willing to help with a diet plan and recommendations.

Helpful tips:

*exercise increases hormones related to happiness and reward

*limiting screen time in the evenings aids in sleepiness

*regular schedules and bedtimes are helpful for hormone regulation

*deep and mindful breathing will lessen stress hormones, increase coping and improve overall health

*relaxing activities i.e yoga/Qi gong

*keeping hydrated, as dehydration impairs cognitive function

*eating to maintain blood/sugar levels

*counting backwards when upset can aid in coping and reduce impulsivity

*identifying smells, colours, textures, tastes and sounds helps to ground children during panic attacks

*alternative therapies i.e. Cognitive behavioural therapy for kids can assists in training young brains to use positive thought patterns

*reduction in sugar and processed foods keep blood sugar levels stable

Our biorhythms are related to sun phases. Our bodies are more active when the sun is high and serotonin is readily available. As the sun sets melatonin is released and activates sleepiness. Children with regular bedtimes and waking schedules have trained their biorhythms to support that schedule. Children who spend more time outside keep their circadian rhythms in order. This improves mood, organ function, sleep patterns, digestion and more. Using melatonin on youngsters is complicated and not advisable. There are foods that are rich in melatonin and are effective. Increasing the body’s ability to make its own melatonin is recommended. This simple regime can help.

When people become stressed, anxious or upset the sympathetic nervous system is initiated. The internal homeostasis of the body becomes acidic, at which point minerals and vitamins are lost and free radicals begin to damage cells and mental stress becomes very physical. At this point it is important to replace these vitamins/ minerals that have been depleted and support immunity which is exhausted from stress. There are a variety of ways for mental health to present itself in children and all treatments/ supplementation should be tailored to the individual.