(WGHP) — It’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
The US Preventative Service Task Force recently announced a recommendation that children be screened for anxiety at the age of eight.
Parents might wonder what they need to know about mental health and their children.
What are the most common mental health concerns in children?
Some common mental health concerns with children are ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Behavioral Disorders, and PTSD.
At what age might a child begin to show concerning behaviors?
Children can show signs of mental illness at any age. When considering mental health conditions in young children under 5 you want to also rule out whether their behaviors or concerns are developmentally related.
What are some symptoms of mental health concerns I might notice?
You might notice a change in mood, behavioral outburst, out-of-control behavior, isolation, sadness for prolonged periods, difficulty sleeping, difficulty focusing or changes in academic performance.
Are disorders hereditary?
While genetics does present an increased chance of developing some mental disorders, the risk is not exclusively genetic. The environment can also be a determinate of the outcome as well.
If you manage your mental health well and provide a healthy nurturing environment for your child then that will significantly decrease the chances of them developing a mental illness.
How can I get help for my child without alarming them?
Dealing with mental illness can be scary for children and parents. I would suggest explaining things to them in a way that they can understand.
Explaining things such as why they need help and who they will get the help from. Give them the freedom to ask questions and provide as much support and encouragement as they need.
What are the risks of not seeking help in managing these disorders?
Unmanaged mental health at any age would present the risk of worsening symptoms and a further decline in functioning. As with any illness, whether behavioral health-related or medical, the earlier you address the illness will increase the chances of a positive outcome.