This week is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week and it’s a great opportunity to discuss and spotlight the field. Below are some facts regarding mental health disorders in children.
There are some important questions. What is children’s mental health disoder? How do they affect children? Can children still have normal lives? Can kids recover from a mental health disorder? How can you help a child with a mental health problem? There are many false opinions and stigmas leading to a false understanding. This can negatively impact the children and their families.
The problem even becomes bigger when you consider how mental health disorders relate to the loss of lives.
Many children with mental health disorders can lead normal lives. On the other hand if unaddressed or poorly treated can have disastrous consequences to the child and family.
Some of the common Mental health Disorders in children include:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Anxiety and phobias
- Behavior disorders.
- Learning and developmental disabilities
- Autism and autism spectrum disorders
- Risk factors like substance use and self-harm.
- Addiction including to video games
What are the symptoms of mental health disorders in children?
Symptoms of mental disorders are variable and can change over time as a child grows, and may include difficulties with how a child plays, learns, speaks, and acts, or how the child handles their emotions. Symptoms often are noticed in infancy, although some disorders may develop during the teenage years. The diagnosis is often first made in the school years and sometimes even earlier; however, some children with a mental disorder are never diagnosed
Can childhood mental disorders be treated?
Childhood mental disorders can be treated and managed. There are many treatment options based on the best and most current medical evidence. Parents and doctors should work closely with everyone involved in the child’s treatment — teachers, coaches, therapists, and other family members. Taking advantage of all the resources available will help parents, health professionals, and educators guide the child towards success. Early diagnosis and appropriate services for children and their families can make a difference in the lives of children with mental disorders.
What you can do to help your children’s mental health?
Parents: You know your child best. Talk to your child’s healthcare professional if you have concerns about the way your child behaves at home, in school, or with friends.
Youth: It is just as important to take care of your mental health as it is to take care of your physical health. If you are concerned about your emotions or thoughts, reach out to a trusted friend or adult..
Healthcare professionals: Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment based on updated guidelines are very important. There are resources available to help diagnose and treat children’s mental disorders.
Teachers/school administrators: Early identification is important so that children can get the help they need. Early evaluation and diagnosis is critical. Work with families and healthcare professionals if you have concerns about the mental health of a child in your school.
Read more of our articles on other topics like Allergy and how to hanlde it