Addressing concerns about your child’s mental health

Addressing concerns about your child’s mental health

Children can be just as vulnerable to mental health problems as adults. And, since they lack life experiences, having close, supportive relationships with parents and caregivers is perhaps the single most important safeguard against mental health problems among the young.

That said, childhood mental health problems are more common than most people realize. One out of every five children in Ontario has some type of mental health problem. But, of these, only one in six gets the help they need.

Don’t let your child be a statistic. Here are things to watch for:

  • talk about suicide or feeling hopeless
  • mood problems like irritability, anger, rage or extreme sadness
  • poor grades or missing school
  • changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • physical complaints, such as headaches or stomach aches, that doctors can’t find a cause for
  • withdrawal from regular relationships and activities
  • behaviours or symptoms that prevent your child from doing everyday activities

The Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development has developed an information sheet called Anxiety and Depression: Recognizing the Early Warning Signs that will be helpful for parents of toddlers and preschoolers.

Here is some high quality information about many of the common mental health disorders that affect children of all ages- from the experts at www.ementalhealth.ca.- about:

If your child is showing signs of any of these issues, talk to your health care provider.If you feel you or your child is in crisis, or if you think your child or someone else is in danger, call 911 immediately or contact the Crisis Intervention Program at Health Sciences North at (705) 675-4760.

You can also call the Children’s Community Network at (705) 566-3416 to see if your child is eligible to receive help from the Child and Family Centre—Greater Sudbury’s children’s mental health program. Or you or your child can meet with a Mental Health Clinician at the Walk-in Service at the Child and Family Centre. This service is offered on Thursday afternoons between 12:00 pm and 6:30 pm at the Frood Site at 65 Evergreen Lane downtown Sudbury. Call 705-525-1008 for more information about this pilot program.

If you are on a waiting list for services for your child, the experts from ementalhealth.ca have this good advice.

And, be sure to tell your child about the KidsHelpPhone.

For other counselling options see Getting help with counselling.

Finally, check out Promoting the social and emotional development of school-aged children, Promoting the social and emotional development of toddlers and preschoolers and Promoting your infant’s social and emotional development.

 

This content was prepared and reviewed by the City of Greater Sudbury and its partners. However, it should not take the place of advice from your health care provider or other professionals working with you and your child. 

Notice a broken link or an error or omission in this content? Email beststart@greatersudbury.ca to let us know.