(Canton, Ohio) – Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery is breaking the stigma parents often feel when their child is in need of mental health services.
What Are Childhood Mental Disorders?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental health in childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities.
Serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions describe mental disorders children may experience. These characteristics often cause distress nd problems getting through the day, CDC experts add.
Among the more common mental disorders that can be diagnosed in childhood are attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and behavior disorders.
Other childhood disorders and concerns that affect how children learn, behave, or handle their emotions can include learning and developmental disabilities, autism, and risk factors like substance use and self-harm.
What are the symptoms of childhood mental disorders?
The CDC goes on to explain that symptoms of mental disorders 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 start in early childhood, although some disorders may develop during the teenage years. The diagnosis is often made in the school years and sometimes earlier. However, some children with a mental disorder may not be recognized or diagnosed as having one.
Many mental disorders can be treated. A great place to start is by contacting StarkMHAR and speaking to a professional about your concerns. The StarkMHAR experts will offer resources and consultation and guide you in the right direction.
What you can do
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 angry, worried or sad, don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings and 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. Work with families and healthcare professionals if you have concerns about the mental health of a child in your school.