Information for Families
Sometimes it's difficult for parents and caregivers to know the best way to care for their children when they display behaviors that puzzle, concern and sometimes even frighten us. Sometimes these behaviors are part of normal development. Sometimes they're not. These behaviors could be symptoms of a mental health problem.
Mental health is a term used to describe how people think, feel and act. It encompasses how we perceive our selves, our lives and those we care about. It determines how we handle stress, relate to others, evaluate options and make choices.
Like physical health, mental health is equally important.
Unlike physical illness, such as a cold or a fever, mental illness may be difficult to identify. Though symptoms aren't always apparent, they can be recognized and may include depression, anxiety, conduct, eating and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders.
Mental health problems affect one in five young people at any given time.
That is why, tragically, an estimated 2 out of 3 children with mental health problems do not get the help they need, and why children and adolescents are the most under-served disability group in the nation.