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Article: Why are we still so bad at addressing dancers mental health?

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Yes momof3.. I am very aware of all those details.  I have a lawyer in the family. 

Parents must maintain control of medical and educational decisions in non-emergency situations and I would never advise anyone any different. 

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Just to clarify - where I live, psychological/psychiatric services are both considered health services, and for consent we have legislation called the Health Care Consent Act.  There is no minimum age laid out for consent to treatment.  The provider just needs to be sure that the person is capable of understanding risks/benefits of the treatment and of not having said treatment.

Therefore, it would be quite possible and legal for a minor to obtain services without the knowledge of parents.  Payment for said services might be a different issue - psychology isn't covered under our government health plan.

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Parents must maintain control of medical and educational decisions in non-emergency situations and I would never advise anyone any different. 

In my DD's case there is only consent for emergency situations when the parents cannot be contacted. 

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Keep in mind that we have members from various countries.  Not all countries have the same consent laws/rules/regulations, evidenced by mom2.

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“Certainly anyone with the child's best interest at heart should be contacting a parent.”

Agree, and I believe mental health and other health professionals will endeavor to do that in my experience.  That being said, legally via HIPPA laws in the US...but can only speak for PA as well, children as young as 14 our able to keep some information from parents if they chose, mainly so they can seek birth control and treatment for sexually related illnesses/problems.  I always struggle with this personally.  But as clinicians, we always endeavor to encourage the child to involve their parents, and instruct them that if they are at risk of harming themselves or others, that can not be kept confidential, and that is for all ages, even after 18.  That being said, I am not an expert on the US laws.   Best thing is to maintain, as well as possible, an open and ongoing positive relationship with your child.

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I am going to try to articulate this differently: There is a social stigma against anyone who seeks help for any mental issues, be they needing a visit to either a psychologist or a Psychiatrist.

I think we've all seen enough news to know that at least here in the U.S.A., there are people who as children, would have benefitted from going to see a mental health professional yearly. In my opinion, mental health professionals, having trained for many years, ought to be able to catch something before it becomes a problem. No offense parents (I am also a parent), but sometimes we are too close to the situation to be able to tell the difference between growing "pains" and real mental issues.

If a yearly/monthly/whatever/X number of visits per X length of time for all children and adults were just a normal part of our healthcare routines, I believe that there are situations that could be avoided, and handled long before they become a real issue for society.

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I agree, Clara76.  At the risk of causing "momma bear" defenses to come rearing up, I'll also gently point out that there are times when family dynamics and parental involvement are NOT helpful to the mental well being of the child. 

I am not a mental health practitioner, but I'm guessing that a high stress, high competition arena (like ballet, music, academics, etc) can fracture and harm the parent-child relationship.  Pressure and expectations and raising a child who can recover from setbacks are all tricky to manage on an "ordinary" basis; throw in performances and training in a highly competitive environment, and you have a hot mess.  From my own personal experience, I have found that it can be very, very difficult to get your own ego out of the "accomplishments" (or challenges) of your child.  I believe a neutral 3rd party yearly assessment could be extremely helpful. 

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Since this thread is about Mental Health, we, as parents, also need to understand that "emergency" in mental health cases is not as cut and dry as "emergency" in the case of needing immediate surgery.  As well, in Mental Health cases there is a difference in an evaluation and treatment. 

But, probably for the continued discussion in this thread, we need to not make it about what individual parents feel is right or wrong about what can and can't be done for their own child.  But more toward the original purpose of the thread, in discussing the "why of why we are still so bad at addressing dancer mental health."    

Eligus, Clara76 and Learning.a.lot-those are good considerations for us all.  

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  • 5 months later...

Dance Mag has done a few of these articles recently, related to mental health, diet, dancing injured, racism, sexism... I know I'm not the only one to want the ballet world to change. I don't always agree with everything they write about, but at least they're planting seeds...

the more people who write about and talk about this, the more prevalent the conversation will become... 

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  • 2 years later...

Clutter bug, I enjoyed the article you posted regarding dance and mental health.  How insightful!  After reading this article, it really opened my eyes to a downside of dance.  I agree there should be a psychologist available to dancers when needed, and in my opinion, especially teens.  They are at a growing, vulnerable stage of their lives.

In regards to going into mental health as a career, and with the exception to the cost of schooling, what a great idea!  Both the experience of dance, and knowing the mindset of a dancer, it sounds like this could be a great opportunity all around. 

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Moderator hat on...Hello BalletLady 59 and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. I see you have posted 4 times, but have not introduced yourself in the Welcome Forum. Please do consider doing so. It is so helpful in understanding which areas of interest you may have. of course, no personal information but a bit about how long you have studied ballet, whether or not it has been as an adult student, a younger person, both or are you a professional. This would be so helpful.

Now, carry on with the topic at hand! 😉

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