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Child/Adolescent Mental Health

Mental health is how we think, feel, and act as we face the daily ups and downs of our lives.  Our mental health helps determine how we cope with stress and change, make choices and decisions, and relate with other people.  All aspects of our lives are affected by our mental health.

Good mental health does not mean that a person is always happy, confident, or in control.  Everyone feels self-doubt, sadness, anger, worry, and loss of control at times.   These are all a normal part of life’s emotional journey.  Sometimes, however,  thoughts, feelings, or behavior  become too hard for us to manage and get in the way of our ability to cope with the everyday demands of home, school, and/or relationships.  This may be a sign of an emerging mental health concern and is cause for attention. 

The causes of mental health problems are complicated and not yet fully understood.  It is known, however, that one’s mental health can be impacted by a combination of biological, psychological, social, and other factors.

Mental Health Disorders are more common in young people than most people realize.  As many as one in five children and adolescents in the United States has a mental health condition significant enough to interfere with their daily activities.  Unfortunately, only a small percentage receive timely and appropriate treatment.

Without the right help, children and adolescents with mental health issues are at a higher risk to develop other difficulties, such as school failure or drop out, disruptive, destructive or dangerous behavior, substance abuse, and even suicide.

Fortunately, there is HOPE as promoting mental health and providing appropriate mental health supports and treatment can significantly improve the mental health of many children and adolescents.

Related Resources

Children and Mental Health handout for School Personnel

Children and Mental Health booklet (English, Bosnian, Spanish, French, Vietnamese) for Chittenden County parents/guardians

Video Overview of Children’s Mental Health in Vermont

The informational booklets and video may be reproduced freely by and for Chittenden County and our schools. 

If you are outside of Chittenden County and would like to have booklets adapted to your own community for a nominal fee, call 802 488-6706 or click on the contact us button on the top of the page.