The Globe and Mail - Does your struggling child have a mental health problem? Three things to consider


#1

One of the biggest challenges facing parents, teachers and primary health-care providers is how to tell the difference between a clinically significant mental health problem and the normal ups and down of daily life that beset all children and teens.

The irony is most people think that mental health problems in children and youth are very rare, when in fact they are quite common. As a result, such problems are often dismissed as part of normal development. Since these usually occur in the context of unfortunate life events, parents, teachers and family doctors frequently “explain away” the problem by reference to certain circumstances such as being the victim of bullying, difficulty getting along with a strict teacher, the breakup of the parents’ marriage or other stressful events.


#2

I think that every kid should be sent to a child psychologist or therapist at least once. I went because my parents were worried because my teacher said I didn’t know things that I showed that I knew at home. I credit my lack of suspicion of mental health professionals and meds to that. It was an incredibly positive experience.

She gave me a tiny yellow stuffed bunny to keep :smile:


#3

Not all people in the mental health field are created equal. Some can be incredibly life saving, and others…well, can do more harm than good.
It also helps to know if the child themselves feel that they would like to talk to someone to see if they can help in anyway.