As a parent or caregiver, you want the best for your children or other dependents. You may be concerned or have questions about certain behaviors they exhibit and how to ensure they get help.
It is important to be aware of warning signs that your child may be struggling. You can play a critical role in knowing when your child may need help.
Consult with a school counselor, school nurse, mental health provider, or another health care professional if your child shows one or more of the following behaviors:
Because children often can’t understand difficult situations on their own, you should pay particular attention if they experience:
Sen. Gordon Smith shares his story about mental health problems, and encourages others to "bring mental health issues out of the shadows."
If you are concerned your child’s behaviors, it is important to get appropriate care. You should:
Do you need help starting a conversation with your child about mental health? Try leading with these questions. Make sure you actively listen to your child’s response.
When talking about mental health problems with your child you should:
Glenn Close talks about her family's experience with mental health problems, and the importance of talking and learning about mental health issues. "I challenge every American family to no longer whisper about mental illness behind closed doors," she said.
There are many resources for parents and caregivers who want to know more about children’s mental health. Learn more about:
Seek immediate assistance if you think your child is in danger of harming themselves or others. You can call a crisis line or the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1.800.273.TALK (8255).
If your child is in need of community mental health services you can find help in your area.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201