Children's mental health identifying mental health concerns
Sometimes it's hard to know what is normal development for a child and when behavior becomes something to be concerned about. Fortunately, there are ways to learning what could be happening and how to help.
If a child shows possible symptoms of a mental health problem, a diagnostic assessment may be in order.
A mental health professional interviews the child or family to gather information, such as:
- Effects of symptoms on functioning in home, school and community
- Onset, frequency, duration and severity of current symptoms
- History of current mental health problem (developmental incidents, strengths, stressors, etc.)
- Relevant family and social history
The diagnostic assessment is usually the first step in deciding whether and what treatment is necessary.
A mental health or developmental screening can help to identify early potential mental health problems. This usually results in referrals to a mental health professional for further evaluation.
There are a many types of screenings that target certain ages or circumstances related to the mental health of children and youth. These include: