The need for early intervention for childhood mental illness is becoming more and more clear. One study, for example, showed that 50% of those who experience mental health issues in their lifetimes begin to show signs by age 14. Read on to learn about early warning signs, when and how to intervene.
Minor fluctuations in mood are normal. But, when children are exhibiting the following symptoms more often than not, it is cause for concern:
- Problems with concentration or memory
- Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or worthless
- Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
- Excessive worry
- Irritability or restlessness
- Changes in sleep or appetite
- Excessive anger
- Hearing or seeing things that other people don’t
- Extreme panic
- Onset of new behaviors or rituals that are repeated
- Mood swings or frequent shifts in energy
- Changes in style of dress which may be indicators of masking self-harm.
* If you suspect your child is in immediate danger of taking suicidal action, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, call 911 or transport your child to the nearest emergency room.
- Gather additional information about your child’s behavior from friends, relatives, school, daycare, etc. to determine whether the issues occur in other settings or just at home.
- Ask your child to complete this brief screening from Mental Health America to help identify areas of concern.
- Schedule a mental health assessment for your child at a reputable facility such as Travco Behavioral Health.
Travco’s treatment options for children include:
- Play therapy: art, role play, board games, etc. that promote identification of triggers and discussion of symptoms, feelings and internal experiences; also enables the therapist to model coping skills and perform interventions that can stabilize/reduce symptoms
- Behavior modification: decreasing negative behavior and changing/adapting that behavior in a more positive way
- Cognitive therapy: helping the client identify and restructure unhelpful beliefs or thoughts (which, in turn, positively impacts behavior)
Compassionate, professional mental health treatment empowers children by providing the skills and tools that build the foundation for a successful future.
Contact Travco today to learn more about how your child can benefit from our services.