According to the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, one in six American children between ages 6 and 17 has a treatable mental health disorder. But such a condition can be hard for parents to identify.
Warning signs of mental illness in children include mood and behavioral changes, intense feelings, difficulty concentrating and substance abuse. Kids suffering from a mental condition may also inflict self-harm, experience unexplained weight loss and develop physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomachaches.
If you’re concerned about your child’s psychological state, it’s best to consult a doctor. Kids diagnosed with mental disorders are often prescribed psychotherapy (talk or behavior therapy). In some cases, medications may be used to treat them.
As a parent, you can nurture your children’s mental health by helping them to build strong, caring relationships and develop self-esteem.
In addition, create a safe, positive home environment where you listen to your kids and respect their feelings so they feel understood and valued.