Date Published: 2 July 2007
Childrens mental health doesnt take a summer break (APA)
A recent survey by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that 78% of adults with children in the home say they play a major role in caring for their family’s mental health. However, only 37% say they understand the causes of mental illnesses “very well.”
For parents, the key to understanding and handling their child’s mental
health needs is to recognize the problem and seek appropriate treatment. Some of the mental disorders
commonly seen in children are depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder.
For July, www.HealthyMinds.org, the APA’s free consumer Web site, features information to help parents learn more about children’s mental health, including tips about traveling with children, children and summer camp and starting school. Being mindful of children’s mental health during the summer is as important as during the school year. Filled with new experiences, summer is an exciting time for children: many are going to camp for the first time, visiting relatives, taking vacations to new places with their families. For most children, these are fun and positive experiences, though some children may feel anxious or overwhelmed.
“ Like physical health, a child’s mental health is important, and it is vital for parents to deal with emotional or behavioral difficulties their children may be having,” said David Mrazek, M.D., chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and chair of APA’s Council on Children, Adolescents, and Their Families.
“ Talk to your child’s teacher and/or family doctor. If difficulties persist, consider a referral to a trained and qualified mental health professional, such as a child psychiatrist.”
The American Psychiatric Association encourages everyone to learn more about
warnings signs of mental illnesses. A healthy mind is key to having a healthy life.
Source: American Psychiatric Association.