Mental Health Check In

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 17% of youth (6-17 years) experience a mental health disorder? And around 50% of lifetime mental illness begins by age 14. The CDC reports that in children already diagnosed with depression, 73.8% also have an anxiety diagnosis. Mental health is an issue that is crippling our youth. The difficult aspect of mental health is that it is not straightforward and often looks different from person to person.

The following are a list of signs/symptoms to look for in your child:

  • feeling sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks
  • trying to harm or end one’s life (or making plans to do so)
  • severe, out of control, risk-taking behavior that causes harm to self or others
  • sudden overwhelming fear for no reason – may include racing heart, physical discomfort, or difficulty breathing
  • significant weight loss or gain
  • seeing, hearing, or believing things that aren’t real
  • use of alcohol or drugs
  • drastic changes in sleeping habits
  • intense worry or fears that get in the way of daily activities

What are the next steps if you notice any of these behaviors or changes in your child?

  • Ask questions about how their daily life is being impacted by what they’re feeling (see attached document)
  • Talk with a health care professional – many are able to do virtual or telephone visits during this time
  • If your child, family, or others are in immediate danger, call 911
  • If your child has spoken of suicide, but has no current plans to harm themselves or others, call a suicide hotline for help and someone to talk to
    • Nationwide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
      • Available to all ages; 24/7 support, even on holidays
      • Available to non-English speakers (able to translate in over 150 languages)
      • Spanish hotline: 1-888-628-9454
      • Deaf or hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889 (or use chat live service online)
    • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
      • Connects you with a Crisis Counselor via text message