Mental health awareness for adults is on the rise thanks to educational efforts to reduce the stigma of mental illness. The public attitude regarding anxiety, depression, and other symptoms will continue to improve as long as we collectively keep the conversation open while also focusing on evidence-based practices. However, this does not only apply to adults; the issue of mental health arguably matters more when considering our children and teenagers. Students will be returning back-to-school in August, and parents want to be prepared for the stress and anxiety that big transitions like this can generate.
Fristly, we know mental health conditions surface early in childhood. The CDC reports that 1 in 6 children aged 2-8 years have a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. This means the earlier the intervention the better. Metrocare offers expert services designed to treat children, and supplements with care coordination to ensure the family has all the support needed.
Furthermore, our teens are facing increasing pressure. They report pressure to perform in school and sports. Many experience tough schedules with little time for rest, relaxation, or unstructured fun. Add to that bullying (in person or on social media), various forms of discrimination, and all the stressors related to poverty. Is it any wonder that kids are struggling with their mental health?
Look for the signs. Do you notice a change in your teen’s sleep, weight, or eating habits? Perhaps they are withdrawing from family or cancelling plans with their closest friends with little or no explanation. They may reveal they are struggling with worry and anxiety, or they may refuse to talk about what is bothering them even after you’ve made it as safe as possible to discuss hard issues openly.
Metrocare understands the unique pressures that children and teens are facing. Our clinicians work with parents to create specialized treatment plans, including wraparound services, treatment for complex trauma, and programs for suicide prevention. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you notice your child is struggling. They aren’t alone. Metrocare cares.