Where’s Waldo? Improving Child Mental Health

Hospitals aren’t typically fun. For young individuals that have to stay confined to a hospital, that can actually harm child mental health. CNN recently reported on a hospital that is trying to spice up the lives of the children staying there and they’re using a well-known book character to do it: Waldo.

That’s right. Our favorite hidden children’s book character. It all started with a construction foreman, Jason Haney, that wanted to make the children in the hospital smile a little more.

8-foot tall Waldo improves child mental health

“I just wanted to make kids smile and make them feel better.” –Jason Haney
Haney built an 8-foot tall Waldo that gets moved around the hospital to unique and surprising places, just like in the books. It’s each child’s mission in the hospital to find where he was placed, when they find him, it’s all smiles and laughter. So why does this improve child mental health? Because it gives the children something other than treatments to focus on.

Oftentimes, children confined to hospitals live a life focused around treatments. Life can become dull in a sterile, white place that houses sick people. Waldo adds a little excitement and color into the mix. It gives the children something positive to look forward to every day, which helps improve overall mental health.

Mental health incredibly important

As a society, we commonly ignore the importance of adolescent and child mental health. It plays a critical role in a child’s overall health. One cannot be physically healthy unless they’re also mentally healthy. Our mental health issues have ways of manifesting themselves physically, which is why it’s so important to not just focus on healing a child’s physical health, but they’re mental health as well.

Asheville Academy can help

Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for young girls, ages 10-14, struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other behavioral or mental issues.

For more information about how Asheville Academy improves child mental health issues, call 800-264-8709 today!