By Denise Morganthall

 

depressed-teen-kidspeaceOne out of five children suffer from some sort of mental health problem. Children’s mental health problems include ADHD, Autism, bipolar, depression and schizophrenia. May 5-11 is children's mental health awareness week.

 

As a parent, how do we know our child is suffering from a mental illness? Some red flag behaviors can be change in appetite, trouble sleeping, dropping grades, showing less interest in sports and taking unnecessary risks. Some behaviors may seem to parents like children are just going through a phase or “being a teenager.” Some parents are hesitant to get treatment because of the stigma attached to mental illness or they do not want to believe it is happening to them. However early intervention is critical to successful treatment.

 

Today mental illness is so prevalent that we are better at understanding what causes it and in turn being able to provide successful treatment. This week is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and lending a hand to those who are struggling. Shame and stigma too often leave people feeling like there is no place to turn. We need to make sure they know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.