By Grisel Negron
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children.
- 9.4% of children aged 2 – 17 years have received an ADHD diagnosis.
- 7.4% of children aged 3 -17 years have a diagnosed behavior problem.
- 7.1% of children aged 3 – 17 years have diagnosed anxiety.
- 3.2% of children aged 3 – 17 years have diagnosed depression.
Most mental health challenges are treatable and early treatment makes a difference. Unfortunately, many children do not get the help they need due to the stigma about mental health.
Here are some warning signs –
- Frequently children talk of their fears and worries
- Complaints of headaches and stomach pain without known medical reasons
- Constantly moving, being unable to stay still
- Sleep too much or very little
- Frequent temper tantrums or extremely irritable
- Uninterested in playing with other children or unable to make friends
Getting help –
- If the child’s behavior persists and the child is unable to perform in school, at home or with friends, look for help.
- If the child’s behavior is dangerous or if a child speaks of harming him or herself or others seek immediate professional assistance with a therapist or the local crisis unit
- There are many options for treatment; consult with the child’s primary doctor, have your child evaluated/tested, work in collaboration with those who are involved with your child, e.g. teachers, sport coach, school counselors/social worker and other family members.
Early diagnosis, adequate services and available resources for children and families can make a BIG difference in the life of children with mental health. Sharing information, open communication and working together will assist in identifying the best treatment plan for the child. The treatment plan may include medications depending on the tests and medical professional’s opinion, individual and family therapy or counseling. It’s Ok to get Help
For assistance at your child’s school, consult with your child’s school counselor or social worker.
Stop the Stigma, start the conversation on Mental Health!