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Mental and Behavioral Health Awareness for Youth

By Kathy Enerlich, Executive Director and Dr. Ankur Desai, Medical Director

May is Mental Health Month, with a dedicated week for Children's Mental Health Awareness from May 7-13.

According to a survey from the National Institutes of Health1, almost 50 percent of all youth will experience some sort of challenge with mental health in their lifetime, with one in four of these youth having significant impairment in their daily lives.  In addition, a large number of youth with mental health needs either do not receive services or encounter barriers to access services.

The following actions are signs that your child may need some form of behavioral health help:

  • Excessively worrying or fearful.
  • Feeling excessively sad or low.
  • Displaying extreme mood changes.
  • Having prolonged periods of irritability or anger.
  • Bullying.
  • Grieving or experiencing major loss.
  • Coping with life changes.
  • Avoiding friends and social activities.
  • Talking (or evidence) of self-harm.
  • Showing changes in school performance.
  • Avoiding school and/or going to sleep.
  • Displaying hyperactive behavior.
  • Having frequent nightmares.
  • Being frequently disobedient or aggressive.

At PerformCare, our main goal is to link youth with the treatment services and resources they need to be well and thrive, without stigma or shame. Along with behavioral health needs, PerformCare helps youth and families with substance use treatment and intellectual/developmental disability services. Our trained associates are available to take your calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year at 1-877-652-7624.

For more information on mental health and children, you can visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

1. Kathleen R. Merikangas, Ph.D., Shelli Avenevoli, Ph.D., E. Jane Costello, Ph.D., Doreen Koretz, Ph.D., and Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D., "National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A): I. Background and Measures," Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 48, no. 4 (2009): 367 ‒ 69.