Emotional Problems-Advocating For Your Child
Some nine million children have serious emotional problems at any point in time. Yet, only 1 in 5 of these children are receiving appropriate treatment. When parents or teachers suspect that a child may have an emotional problem, they should seek a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional specifically trained to work with children and adolescents.
Signs and symptoms of childhood and adolescent emotional problems may include (go to link). Ongoing parental involvement and support are essential to the overall success of treatment. Depending on the nature of your child's problems, it may also be important to involve the school, community agencies, and/or juvenile justice system.
Emotional Problems-Know When to Seek Help for Your Child
Parents are usually the first to recognize that their child has a problem with emotions or behavior. Still, the decision to seek professional help can be difficult and painful for a parent. The first step is to gently try to talk to the child. An honest open talk about feelings can often help. Parents may choose to consult with the child's physicians, teachers, members of the clergy, or other adults who know the child well. These steps may resolve the problems for the child and family.
Emotional Problems-Knowing Where To Find Help For Your Child
A child's emotional distress often causes disruption to both the parent's and the child's world. Parents may have difficulty being objective. They may blame themselves or worry that others such as teachers or family members will blame them. If you are worried about your child's emotions or behavior, you can start by talking to friends, family members, your spiritual counselor, your child's school counselor, or your child's pediatrician or family physician about your concerns.
If you think your child needs help, you should get as much information as possible about where to find help for your child. Parents should be cautious about using Yellow Pages phone directories as their only source of information and referral. Other sources of information include (see link)
Emotional Problems-The Continuum of Care for Children And Adolescents
A complete range of programs and services is called the continuum of care. Not every community has every type of service or program on the continuum. The beginning point for parents concerned about their child's behavior or emotions should be an evaluation by a qualified mental health professional such as a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Many of the programs on the continuum offer a variety of different treatments, such as individual psychotherapy, family therapy, group therapy, and medications. A brief description of the different services or programs in a continuum of care follows