(WSYR-TV) — Poor mental health has become an epidemic in our country. The American Psychological Association has stated that feelings of persistent sadness and hopelessness—as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors— have increased by about 40 percent over the last decade.

Jennifer Tolo is a bestselling author and a whole health educator who wants to share some strategies that will help adults be more effective in improving the mental health of our children.

She shared the three following tips:

  1. Focus on Character Building
    Teach children more self awareness and less about collecting achievements
  2. Seek to Understand
    Connection is fueled when we recognize who our children really are. Get to know their likes, dislikes, strengths and challenges
  3. Don’t Be a Fixer
    Connection is fostered through truly listening. Don’t try to fix them but rather ask questions to help them process what they’re going through and empower them to find solutions

You can learn more at JenniferWrenTolo.com. You can also find her on instagram @jenwrentolo.