11 Warning Signs Every Parent Should Know

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in News, Sidebar | 0 comments

Hathaway-Sycamores' Dr. Emily McGrath

Dr. Emily McGrath

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and Hathaway-Sycamores is joining with mental health organizations nationwide to increase awareness about this important subject.

About one in five American youth between the ages of 13 and 18 experiences a severe mental disorder in any given year. Even more alarming, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry notes that only 21% of affected youth receive treatment. This may be due to the stigma and shame that sometimes surrounds mental health and prevents people from seeking help.

“The numbers are especially disturbing because mental health disorders are absolutely treatable. Up to 90% of children and adults who receive mental-health services are able to significantly reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life.” says Hathaway-Sycamores’ Dr. Emily McGrath. So what are the warning signs that parents should know?  According to Dr. McGrath, “The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers this comprehensive list of potential warning signs that parents should know:”

Warning Signs

  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks; 
  • Experiencing sudden, overwhelming fear for no reason;
  • Demonstrating severe, out-of-control behavior that can hurt oneself or others;
  • Wanting to badly hurt others;
  • Not eating, throwing up, or using laxatives to make oneself lose weight;
  • Having intense worries or fears that get in the way of one’s daily activities;
  • Having extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that puts one in physical danger or causes school failure;
  • Using drugs or alcohol repeatedly;
  • Having severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships;
  • Trying seriously to harm or kill oneself, or making plans to do so; and/or
  • Exhibiting drastic changes in one’s behavior or personality.

Getting Help

If you’re a parent who’s concerned about your child’s mental health, Hathaway-Sycamores suggests first talking with your pediatrician in order to rule out any physical-health conditions as a cause. If there are no physical issues, you will likely be referred to a mental-health specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or social worker. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health, other resources include: community mental-health centers; hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics; mental-health programs at universities or medical schools; state hospital outpatient clinics; private clinics and facilities; employee assistance programs; local medical and/or psychiatric societies.

To learn more about Mental Health Awareness Month visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website at www.nami.org.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *