Experts suggest mental health attention with return to school

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As children return to school, mental health experts are encouraging parents to inform themselves about mental health among children and adolescents.

The National Institute of Mental Health points to research suggesting mood, anxiety and psychotic disorders can have onset in childhood, and people who suffer from social phobia, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and other conditions showed signs before they were 24 years old.

NIMH reports children and teenagers may need help if they present these warning signs:

  • Often feels very angry or very worried
  • Can’t sleep or eat
  • Is unable to enjoy pleasurable activities any more
  • Isolates her/himself and avoids social interactions
  • Feels grief for a long time after a loss or death
  • Uses alcohol or drugs
  • Exercises, diets and/or binge-eats obsessively
  • Hurts other people or destroys property
  • Has low or no energy
  • Smokes, drinks, or use drugs
  • Feels like he or she can’t control own emotions
  • Has thoughts of suicide
  • Harms her/himself, such as cutting or burning her/his skin
  • Thinks his or her mind is controlled or out of control
  • Hears voices

They also point out that mental health problems can be treated, and they recommend looking for more information here.

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