It may be difficult to tell if troubling behavior is just part of growing up for your child or a problem that should be discussed with a professional. If there are more than one behavioral signs and symptoms that last weeks or months, and if these issues interfere with the child’s daily life at home and/or at school or with friends, you should contact a mental health professional.
Mental illnesses can be treated. If you are a parent or caregiver, talk to your child, the school counselor, or your child’s health care provider. If you need help starting a conversation with your child about mental health, visit http://www.mentalhealth.gov/. If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your pediatrician or family doctor or visit NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.
It may be helpful for children and teens to save several emergency numbers to their cell phones. The ability to get immediate help for themselves or for a friend can make a difference.
- The phone number for a trusted friend, adult, or relative
- The non-emergency number for the local police department
- The Crisis Text Line: 741741
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).