Parents all want the best for their kids. So we’re always looking out for them and protecting
them from harm. We know that if our child breaks her wrist, we go right to the Emergency Room.
Physical injuries, like a broken bone, are easier for parents to spot. But suffering and pain come in
many forms and they aren’t always physical.
If a child expresses signs of anxiety or seems depressed, many parents aren’t sure what to do.
Unlike the broken wrist, the solution isn’t as straightforward. That’s because mental health is
complicated. Parents may be able to help their children manage stress and anxiety. But, for those
children with an anxiety disorder, getting professional help is essential.
COVID-19 Continues To Impact Mental Wellness
Even before this past year’s impact of COVID-19, 19% of all adults experienced a mental
illness. Over the past year, this number increased by 1.5 million. Yet, one of the most alarming data
facts shows that 60% of youth with depression do not receive any mental health treatment. That is 1
in every three students who are struggling, not receiving the help and support they need. Still, there is
an elephant in the room, just as there has always been.
Children may not always recognize their anxiety or how to process what they are feeling. They
often lack the maturity to explain their stress, triggers, and concerns. Unfortunately, we’ve seen an
increase in youth who have suicidal thoughts. Now, with another school year underway, the spotlight
remains on physical health and safety, especially after COVID-19.
But what about mental health?
The number of children and teens in need of mental health support is an issue that is just as
pressing as physical health and safety. The reason our youth are at risk is because they don’t receive
support when they need it most.
What Contributes To Mental Illness In Our Youth?
Many factors influence these numbers. To start, it’s been a rough year. Children were forced to
adapt to change in many cases overnight. Friends, activities, and school were all removed from the
equation in the blink of an eye. Many children and teens don’t even realize that their “symptoms” are
due to a disorder that can be treated.
Now that we’re starting a new school year, we can all help our youth move forward and remove
the elephant in the room by starting the conversation about mental health with our children. They
must know the way they feel matters. If you think your child is struggling, watch out for these signs
that could signify something more than a bad mood:
• Persistent sadness — two or more weeks
• Withdrawing from or avoiding social interactions
• Hurting oneself or talking about hurting oneself
• Talking about death or suicide
• Outbursts or extreme irritability
• Out-of-control behavior that can be harmful
• Drastic changes in mood, behavior or personality
• Changes in eating habits
• Loss of weight
• Difficulty sleeping
• Frequent headaches or stomachaches
• Difficulty concentrating
• Changes in academic performance
• Avoiding or missing school
Source: Mayo Clinic
As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” We can all help the children and teens
in our life by providing compassionate support and guidance. It’s not just about the youth receiving
services they need but also helping them feel safe and supported. If you have a child who i
struggling, our team is here to help! It all starts with an appointment and evaluation with our
Childhood Provider. Call today!