Mental health conditions are very common. Research shows that 1 in 6 youth/adolescents will experience a mental health condition in any given time. Additionally, 50% of all lifetime mental health conditions begin before the age of 14 and 75% start before the age of 24. However, identifying warning signs or symptoms and seeking treatment early can make a difference in reducing the impact of a mental health condition.

To be able to provide the best possible care for your children’s mental health, it is helpful to be aware of what to look for, when to worry and how to respond.

Children go through developmental phases that include changes in emotions, thoughts and behavior. Most of the time, these are typical periods in development, such as the “terrible twos” when children usually have trouble separating and experience “melt-downs,” which is a stark contrast to one year olds who are not as troubled by exploring their world.

When teenagers give you the cold shoulder, shut down or “snap” at you, they may be trying, as teens should, to become their own individuals. During this time, they’re developing their personal identities and breaking away from the family. Again, this is typical behavior. But when this type of situation persists or begins causing difficulty in their daily life, it may be a symptom of a mental health condition. This is the time to intervene.

What to Look For and When to Act

What to look for and when to act

Everyone experiences a “bad day” from time to time, but when your child seems to be having difficulty with routine daily tasks, it’s important to take notice. Gain awareness of what to look for, when to worry and how to respond if your child is struggling with their mental health.

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Finding Mental Health Care for Your Child

Finding mental health care for your child

Finding mental health services for your child can often seem like an immense challenge. Read our tips on how to help your child get the care they need.

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Getting Your Child Mental Health Support and Accommodations in School

Getting your child accomodations in school and the community

Often, when children are grappling with emotional and behavioral challenges, these difficulties interfere with their school performance and functioning. Improve your understanding of how to advocate for your child’s needs in school.

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What to Do If Your Child Is in Crisis

What to do if your child is in crisis

A mental health crisis is when your child is at risk of harming themselves or others, or if their emotions and behavior seem extreme and out of control. Learn the warning signs of a mental health crisis and what to do.

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How to Talk to Your Child About Their Mental Health

How to talk to your child about their mental health

Openly talking to your children is a great way to help decrease this stigma, but it can be tough to know how to start the conversation. Read our tips on how to start the conversation with your child.

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Residential Treatment

Residential Treatment

Sometimes children who are experiencing severe symptoms with their mental health condition may need a higher level of care than outpatient programs can provide. Explore whether residential placement is right for your child and what that would entail.

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Finding Support Near You

NAMI Ending the Silence

A presentation for middle and high school students, school staff and parents or guardians.

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NAMI In Our Own Voice

A presentation by people with mental health conditions to promote awareness and recovery.

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Contact Your Local NAMI

Across the country, thousands of trained volunteers bring peer-led programs and lived experience to your community.

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