Students can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, and act. Some behavior problems are part of normal child development. And some need professional help.
Children's mental health is as important as their physical health. A child who has a mental health problem needs to get help. Mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders can affect the child's future.
12 questions to help assess whether your child might have a mental health problem.
Does my child...
- Often seem sad, tired, restless, or out of sorts?
- Spend a lot of time alone?
- Have low self-esteem?
- Have trouble getting along with family, friends, and peers?
- Have frequent outbursts of shouting, complaining, or crying?
- Have trouble performing or behaving in school?
- Show sudden changes in eating patterns?
- Sleep too much or not enough?
- Have trouble paying attention or concentrating on tasks like homework?
- Seem to have lost interest in hobbies like music or sports?
- Show signs of using drugs and/or alcohol?
- Talk about death or suicide?
Where should I go for help?
First, have your child see his or her healthcare provider. The provider will first rule out any health conditions that could be causing the symptoms. If no conditions are found, the provider may advise you to take your child to a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or behavioral therapist. If your child goes to school, the school's staff (counselors, school psychologists, and teachers) may become important members of your child's treatment team.
How are mental disorders diagnosed in young children?
A mental health provider will make the diagnosis. He or she will take a detailed family history, write down your child's developmental history, and watch current symptoms. Standardized testing may also be done. A skilled mental health provider will analyze all of the information. If certain diagnostic criteria are met, he or she will make a diagnosis. These are based on the child's age and reports from parents and other caregivers or teachers.
Join Sunday January 26th in Middle School Ministry for helpful tips, and resourse on mental health and awareness