Friday, May 15, 2015

Mental Health Awareness Month

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May is National Mental Health Awareness Month! In our society, the topic of mental health has historically experienced a negative stigma and people often avoid discussing it, but it is certainly an important public health issue that needs to be recognized for its impact on children, families, and communities.

Mental health for children can look different than mental health for adults. For children, it could mean reaching developmental and emotional milestones. It could include learning how to cope with problems, having healthy social skills and a positive quality of life, and functioning well at home, in school, and in their communities.

Sometimes a parent sees serious changes in the way their child typically learns, behaves, or handles emotions; this could be the result of an emerging mental disorder. It is estimated that 1 out of 5 children experience a mental disorder every year. Not all mental and behavioral disorders can be diagnosed in childhood. Some examples of disorders that begin in childhood include:

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Behavior disorders
Mood and anxiety disorders
Substance use disorders
Tourette Symdrome
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To Parents: You know your child. If you have concerns about the way your child behaves at home or in school, contact Help Me Grow or talk to your child's health care professional.

To Youth: If you feel angry, worried, or sad, reach out to a friend or adult to talk about your feelings. Your mental health is just as important as the health of your body.

To Teachers: If you have concerns about the mental health of a student in your school, work with families and health care professionals so that those students can get the help they need and have a disorder identified early.

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