Mental Health in Children
Mental health applies to all ages, including children. Mental illness amongst the younger demographic is actually very common. Although one in five children have a diagnosable mental health problem, nearly two-thirds of them get little or no help. Most of the common diagnoses are very treatable, if seen.
Untreated mental health can cause long-term effects for a child at school, home or within their community. Without treatment, children increase their risk of contact with the criminal justice system, suicide and failure to graduate.
Those closest to the child are most likely to witness the warning signs of mental illness. Parents, friends, teachers or any type of caregiver can note vital observations in behavior. The following may hint that professional help is needed:
· Weak school performance
· Constant worry or anxiety
· Refusal to attend school or take part in activities
· Hyperactivity or fidgeting
· Persistent nightmares
· Temper tantrums
Once with a professional, an evaluation may include a consultation by a child psychiatrist, some psychological testing and medical tests to rule out any physical condition that could be causing the symptoms. It’s also important when diagnosing children to distinguish possible mental health conditions from learning disabilities or developmental delays in order to properly treat the issue. Regardless, there are resources and professionals ready to help your child grow into a healthy adult.