Your Child's Mental Health
The average delay between onset of symptoms and intervention is 8-10 years! (www.NIMH.NIH.gov)
As parents and guardians, we may notice that something is not quite right with our child. Sometimes our teachers may see signs or changes in a student and alert parents or school administrators. In other instances, a child may hold themselves together in school for fear of being noticed by their peers as being different. However, when they get home, they may release all their pent-up feelings and behaviors. These are warning signs that must not be ignored. You know your child best. Be mindful of their moods and behaviors to determine if they are dealing with a mental health issue.
Mental Illness and the Family: Recognizing Warning Signs and How to Cope
Many people believe that mental health disorders are rare and “happen to someone else." In fact, mental disorders are common and widespread (1 in 5 Americans,NAMI)
Most families are not prepared to cope with learning their loved one has a mental illness. It can be physically and emotionally trying, and can make us feel vulnerable to the opinions and judgments of others. If you think you or someone you know may have a mental or emotional problem, it is important to remember there is hope and help
What is mental illness?
According to Mental Health America, a mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.
There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.
Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events. As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological. Mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder.
Click on the MHA image for information on
- Warning Signs and Symptoms
- In Adults
- Young Adults and Adolescents
- In Older Children and Pre-Adolescents
- Younger Children
- How to cope day to day
- Accept your feelings
- Handling unusual behavior
- Establishing a support network
- Seeking counseling
(Mental Health America, 2017)
Other Helpful Resources from Mental Health America:
Mental Illness and the Family: Finding the Right Mental Health Care for You
Mental Illness and the Family: Is Hospitalization Necessary
NAMI is also a great resource for Mental Health information.
Click the NAMI logo for more specific information on mental health conditions and more.