Signs & Symptoms
“Changes in a child or adolescent’s emotional functioning are considered concerning when their thoughts, feelings, or behavior become too difficult for them to manage and/or get in the way of their ability to cope with the every day demands of self-care, home, school, and/or relationships.”
Children and adolescents are constantly stretching to meet physical and emotional milestones. Along the way, it is common to see mood changes, emotional swings, acting out, and poor judgment. With all of the expected social, emotional, and behavioral ups and downs of a young person’s development, how do we know when a problem may be emerging?
Most social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health problems and disorders have signs and symptoms that are detectable at home and at school long before the child is ever brought to the attention of professionals.
If you notice significant social, emotional, behavioral or cognitive changes in a child or adolescent, seek consultation from a school counselor, pediatrician or other local mental health resource. Though these changes may reflect nothing more than a normal developmental growing period, they may also signal something more concerning and should be taken seriously. Early identfication and intervention can often prevent further problems from developing.
|POTENTIAL MENTAL HEALTH WARNING SIGNS|
In addition to these more general potential mental health warning signs listed above, almost everyone thinking about or planning suicide displays some warning signs or clues, especially in the week or two before the final act. Below are emergent warning signs that signal a crisis and demand immediate action.
|EMERGENT SUICIDE WARNING SIGNS|
If you notice any of these emergent warning signs of suicide follow this three step process:
1. Show you care – Listen carefully – Be genuine: “I am concerned about how you are feeling.”
2. Ask the question – Be direct but caring & non-confrontational: “Are you thinking about suicide?”
3. Get help – DO NOT LEAVE HIM/HER ALONE: “You’re not alone. Let me get you to someone who can help you.”