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Children’s Mental Health

Tumbles, scrapes, ouches, owies and boo-boos: just another day in the life of a parent.

But what about invisible pain? The kind of pain you can’t kiss and make better. Like the doctor you turn to for fevers and flus, there’s help out there for that kind of pain, too.

Children’s mental health problems are real, common and treatable. Although one in five children has a diagnosable mental health problem, nearly two-thirds of them get little or no help.

Untreated mental health problems can undermine a child’s ability to thrive at home, school and in the community. Without treatment, children with mental health issues are at increased risk for problems now and later in life, such as problems in school (including dropping out), getting involved with the criminal justice system, unemployment and suicide.

Parents and family members are usually the first to notice if a child has problems with emotions or behavior. Your observations, along with those of teachers and other caregivers, can help determine whether you need to seek help for your child.

All children struggle from time to time and may have one of the following issues to some degree. But if more than one of these issues is present — or if a single issue is persistent and interfering with school, friendships or home life — professional help may be needed.

Early identification, diagnosis and treatment can help children reach their full potential. If you suspect a problem or have questions, talk with your child’s pediatrician or contact a mental health professional.

Learn more about navigating mental health challenges for your child with these fact sheets provided by Mental Health America, and check out local and national resources for help.

Common Warning Signs

  • Decline in school performance
  • Poor grades despite strong efforts
  • Constant worrying or anxiety
  • Repeated refusal to go to school or to take part in normal activities
  • Hyperactivity or fidgeting
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Depression, sadness or irritability

Resources Coming Soon!