Yes, they can.
Mental health is part of health.
Just like children can have almost any other health problem, they can have mental health problems, even from a very young age. If you are interested in learning more about social and emotional challenges in very young children, please visit the BuDS website (Beginnings Determine Success, an early childhood initiative), which is coming soon.
Mental health problems are common in children.
They are also very treatable. Learn more about mental health problems in children and how common they are according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This TED video explains how trauma affects all aspects of health, including mental health.
Only a qualified licensed mental health professional can diagnose your child.
If you are wondering if your child might benefit from seeing a mental health professional, this Symptom Checker from the Child Mind Institute can be helpful. The Symptom Checker should be used as a guide only and does not substitute for being seen in person by a qualified and licensed mental health professional.
Other helpful resources
This video tells ways to find help if you think your child might need it.
WEBSITES WITH MORE INFORMATION
- The American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- National Association of School Psychologists – Family Matters
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network – Resources for Parents and Caregivers
- Centers for Disease Control – Children’s Mental Health
- National Institutes of Mental Health - Child and Adolescent Mental Health
- Children’s Mental Health – The American Psychological Association
- American Psychiatric Association – Children and Adolescents
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration- Children
- The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
- Family Run Executive Directors Leadership Association
- Mental Health America - Children
- Child Mind Institute
Remember: Sometimes people think good mental health care is just therapy and maybe medication, but there’s a range of services that can and should be available to your child at home, school and in the community, if your family thinks they would be helpful.
Flexible services that respect and partner with families help children thrive at home and school, even when they have very challenging behaviors. This approach is called a system of care and is something Families as Allies is very committed to – especially family-driven care. Our state and federal laws are clear about what services should be available in a system of care and that families should be respected and treated as partners.