Keeping track of your child’s mental health

By Brittany Farrar on 7th Jun 2022

As a parent or adult in a child’s life, mental health awareness is so important, and issues sometimes increase over the summer months. Here is what you should be aware of when tracking a kid’s mental health

Types of mental health issues present differently amongst youth and all need to be addressed by professionals:

  1. General anxiety disorder, which we’ve also flagged during early and ongoing stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, typically involves extreme fatigue, lowered concentration, muscle tension, extreme irritability and sleeping troubles.
  2. Social anxiety disorder includes worrying of being judged and anxiety in advance of social events in addition to physical symptoms such as nausea being around other people or blushing, trembling, and sweating.
  3. Depression symptoms involve constant feelings of sadness, guilt or helplessness, loss of interest in hobbies or activities or physical symptoms as aches that won’t go away and changes in weight or appetite.

Different age groups will have different symptoms, as referenced by the National Institute of Mental Health

  1. Younger children have tantrums, stay in constant motion, have trouble making or keeping friends or struggle in school. Some young kids will also present signs of obsessive behavior, checking on things many times.
  2. Older kids show lower energy, spend time alone or avoid previously enjoyed activities and hobbies. They can also have more extreme behaviors as changes in diet, alcohol or drug use, self-harm, risky behaviors. Manic behaviors and talk of hearing voices in their heads are a reason to immediately seek professional help.

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to a doctor, counselor or another loved one. For children and youth up to age 18 experiencing a mental health emergency, call the Tennessee Statewide Crisis Hotline:

  • 1-855-CRISIS-1 (1-855-274-7471)
  • Crisis TextLine – Text “TN” to 741741

If you are located outside of Tennessee, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK or (1-800-273-8255)

Youth Villages is one of the largest providers of services to children in Tennessee and a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health. The organization has been recognized by the Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. Learn more at www.youthvillages.org.

 

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