This year’s theme, “Finding Help-Finding Hope” explores how communities can improve access to behavioral health services and supports for children, youth, and young adults with mental and substance use disorders and their families. The struggles a child with mental health issues face daily become the struggles of his or her parents, caregivers, teachers, siblings, grandparents, friends, etc. Some days, it’s tempting for everyone to ignore the situation or even retreat to bed or the bathtub with a good book!
But, there is help for every child—and hope for every child. Through collaborative efforts between schools, local service agencies, mental health providers and families, each child and youth can find the right treatments, the right school placements and the right blend of activities to help him or her lead an active, fulfilling life.
When to Seek Help
Parents and family members are usually the first to notice if a child has problems with emotions or behavior. Your observations, along with those of teachers and other caregivers, may lead you to seek help for your child. If you suspect a problem or have questions, consult your pediatrician or contact a mental health professional.
The following signs may indicate the need for professional assistance or evaluation:
• decline in school performance
• poor grades despite strong efforts
• regular worry or anxiety
• repeated refusal to go to school or take part in normal children’s activities
• rapidly changing mood swings
• sleeping too much or too little
• feelings of worthlessness
• recurring thoughts of suicide or death
• persistent nightmares
• persistent disobedience or aggression
• frequent temper tantrums
• depression, sadness or irritability
• hyperactivity or fidgeting
Where to Seek Help
Information and referrals regarding the types of services that are
available for children may be obtained from:
- Federation of Families of South Carolina: (866) 779-0402 or(803) 772-5210
- Child’s pediatrician or school counselor
- Your Community Mental Health Center www.scdmh.org