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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Please Check Out NIMH's New (and Extremely Useful!) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Web Portal!

From NIMH
The National Institute of Mental Health

May 8, 2016


It's National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week. Research has shown that most mental disorders follow a developmental course that typically starts early in life. Children and teens can develop the same mental health disorders and conditions as adults, but their symptoms may be different or hard to identify. Learn more about child and adolescent mental health by visiting the new NIMH web portal.

Here's a sample of its contents:

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Overview

Did you know? Studies show that the brain continues to mature well into the 20s.

Mental health conditions and disorders don't only affect adults. Children and teens can experience mental health problems too. In fact, research has now shown that most mental disorders follow a developmental course that typically starts early in life. This is true not only of conditions such as autism and ADHD, well known for having onset in childhood, but also for mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders.

So, many people who suffer from depression, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia showed signs before they were 24 years old.

Like adults, children and teens can sometimes experience intense emotions as they get older or go through stressful or traumatic events in their lives. For example, it is common for children to feel anxious about school or friendships, or for teens to have short periods of depression after a death in the family.

Mental disorders are different. They can cause ongoing, severe symptoms that affect how a child feels, thinks, acts, and handles daily activities, such as going to school, sleeping, or eating. It is important to know the signs and seek help if needed.

Warning Signs

Children and teens can develop the same mental health disorders and conditions as adults, but their symptoms may be different or hard to identify. Your child or teen might need help if he or she:
  • Often feels very angry or very worried
  • Can’t sleep or eat
  • Is unable to enjoy pleasurable activities any more
  • Isolates her/himself and avoids social interactions
  • Feels grief for a long time after a loss or death
  • Uses alcohol or drugs
  • Exercises, diets and/or binge-eats obsessively
  • Hurts other people or destroys property
  • Has low or no energy
  • Smokes, drinks, or use drugs
  • Feels like he or she can’t control own emotions
  • Has thoughts of suicide
  • Harms her/himself, such as cutting or burning her/his skin
  • Thinks his or her mind is controlled or out of control
  • Hears voices

Mental health problems can be treated. If you are a child or teen, talk to your parents, school counselor, or health care provider. If you are a parent and need help starting a conversation with your child or teen about mental health, visit http://www.mentalhealth.gov/.

If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor or visit NIMH’s Help for Mental Illness webpage.

If you or your child is thinking about harming yourself get help immediately. You can call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1.800.273.TALK (8255).

Health Topics and Resources

Federal Resources
  • NIDA for Teens website is a project of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Created for middle and high school students and their teachers, this website provides accurate and timely information for use in and out of the classroom.

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