educators & providers

As a teacher, school administrator or school counselor, you are in a unique position to notice mental health problems that children may have and to help families understand these issues.

Children of all ages, even as young infants, can experience mental health problems. It’s easy to know if a child needs help dealing with a fever or a broken bone, but mental health problems can be harder to identify.

One in five children and adolescents may have a mental health problem at any given time. It is important to remember that a child’s mental health is just as important as his/her physical health.

Almost two-thirds of all young people with mental health problems are not getting the help they need. Without help, these problems can lead to school failure, substance use and family trouble. Exposure to violence, death, abuse or neglect may lead to mental health problems in children.

A child’s age, stage of development and ability to communicate can make it difficult to distinguish between a mental health problem and natural development.

Some of these illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders and schizophrenia, can occur in adults as well as children. Others, such as behavior and development disorders, elimination disorders, and learning and communication disorders, begin in childhood only, although they can continue into adulthood.