Why Mental Health Guidance for Children is More Important Than Ever and What You Can Do About It.

Maybe you’ve seen it in your children or those around you – higher levels of stress, feeling disconnected, depression, disorders such as ADHD. Recent studies show you are seeing what researchers are discovering: one in six kids is dealing with a mental health condition.

One particular study indicates 20 percent of Alabama’s children have some level of mental illness, above the national average of 16.5 percent. (US National and State-Level Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders and Disparities of Mental Health Care Use in Children, JAMAnetwork.com).

This same study also surveyed parents about treatment and found about half of those who needed treatment did not receive it.

The causes for increased need for treatment but not enough treatment provided are numerous and wide-ranging, but we can support our tender children as they grow into strong adults. Here’s how:

Certainly parents and other family members play a central role in the mental well-being of children. These role models can encourage kids in so many ways, including having frank conversations with their family doctor, starting at an early age. By developing trust with this pillar of their support system early on, the child would hopefully share feelings and concerns as they grow. The physician can then recognize symptoms which could lead to the recommendation of a mental health professional as appropriate.

The next step would be finding a counselor or therapist who specializes in working with children. These counselors typically have a passion for helping children and have built on that by learning specialized techniques, investing in child-focused educational resources, and putting their expertise to work as they spend time with children.

Covering the costs of this specialized mental health assistance can be a concern for many families, but many health insurance programs usually have some sort of mental heath coverage included. And mental health practitioners often offer options for those who may not have mental health insurance coverage as they want to be able to help as many people as possible!

Here at Huntsville Psychotherapy and Counseling Services, we have several therapists who love helping children live their best life by building a strong mental health foundation. Stan Long has spent many years helping children through the court systems, school systems, and now private practice. Monretta Vega has a unique calling to help adolescents and young adults tackle teen issues. Susan Bechert has helped children work through trauma, being in the foster care system, and blending families.

If you have or know a child who may need some mental health guidance, please don’t hesitate to call us today. Their life will be stronger for it.

Lynn Motley, MSSW, LICSW

Email: lynn@hsvpcs.com

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