Is your child acting different? Are they suddenly distant or uninterested in things they used to love? Do they seem to be struggling with concentration or failing in school? Maybe they’re experiencing mood swings or an overwhelming fear of something. Perhaps they’re even hitting or bullying other children, or attempting to hurt themselves.
If any of these sound familiar, know that you’re not alone. It can be confusing and overwhelming to realize that something isn’t right with your child, but it’s important to take action.
Mental health and kids
Did you know that approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13-18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point in their life? For children aged 8-15, the estimate is 13%. The start of many mental health conditions most often occurs in adolescence, with half of individuals living with mental illness experiencing onset by the age of 14. This number jumps to 75% by the age of 24.
It’s crucial to seek help if you suspect your child may be struggling with their mental health. Undiagnosed, untreated, or inadequately treated mental health conditions can affect a child’s ability to learn, grow, and develop.
Symptoms in kids may include behavioral regression, changes in school performance, excessive worry or anxiety, hyperactive behavior, frequent nightmares, disobedience or aggression, temper tantrums, sudden clinginess, or fear of novel situations.
Don’t wait to take action if you suspect your child may be struggling with their mental health. Seek help and support to ensure they can thrive and reach their full potential.
So if this sounds like your child…
- Feels very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks
- Seriously trying to harm or kill oneself or making plans to do so
- Severe out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors
- Sudden, overwhelming fear for no reason
- Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or weight gain
- Seeing, hearing or believing things that are not real
- Repeatedly using drugs or alcohol
- Drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality or sleeping habits
- Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still
- Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities
…then it might be time to get your child some help.