Support for Parents & Families with Children Ages 8-21

What families can do when a child may have a mental illness.

If you are worried about your child’s mental health, follow your instincts. Unexplained changes in a child’s behavior and/or mood may be the early warning signs of a mental health condition and should never be ignored.

There are many different types of mental illness, and it isn’t easy to simplify the range of challenges children face. One way to begin is to get an evaluation of your child or teen by a licensed mental health professional. Talk with your pediatrician, get a referral to a mental health specialist, work with the school and connect with other families.

Some Things that Should Concern a Parent

  • A sudden or persistent drop in school performance.
  • Threats to self and others.
  • Substantial mood swings. Trauma.
  • Acting very withdrawn, sad or overly anxious.
  • Extreme difficulty interacting with friends and/or siblings.
  • Extreme changes in sleeping and eating patterns.
  • Hallucinations, paranoia or delusions.
  • Persistently aggressive behavior/increased or persistent use of alcohol or drugs.