|Child Mental Health Packet (18 page pdf - flyers, articles, book lists - A collaboration of Wisconsin United for Mental Health, Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health, Wisconsin Family Ties, Wisconsin Public Broadcasting, and Supporting Families Together Association
Childhood is characterized by periods of transition and reorganizations, making it critical to assess the mental health of children and adolescents in the context of familial, social, and cultural expectations about age-appropriate thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
Mental disorders and mental health problems appear in families of all social classes and of all backgrounds. No one is immune. Yet there are children who are a t greatest risk by virtue of a broad array of factors. These include physical problems; intellectual disabilities (retardation); low birth weight; family history of mental and addictive disorders; multigenerational poverty; and caregiver separation or abuse and neglect. A range of effective psychosocial and pharmacologic treatments exists for many mental disorders in children.
If a young child exhibits some of the outward, behavioral signs listed below, an evaluation by a mental health professional could be useful:
- Decline in school performance and grades even though the child is trying hard
- Displays of anxiety, such as refusal to go to school or to participate in normal activities for the child’s age
- Persistent nightmares
- Disobedience or aggression lasting longer than six months
- Hyperactivity that goes beyond regular play
- Frequent, unexplained outbursts of anger or crying or the reverse, being extremely quiet and withdrawn
While the child is struggling with his or her mental health, the child’s family may also be experiencing a wide variety of difficult emotions. To learn more about how to cope with a child dealing with a mental illness visit our Children with Mental Health Issues