Watching out for your child’s mental health

May is mental health awareness month, and one group that needs to keep track of their mental health is kids.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:15 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - May is Mental Health Awareness month, and one group that needs to keep track of their mental health is kids.

According to the CDC, 1 in 5 American children experience a mental health disorder, and the most common of those is anxiety which Mary Lanning Healthcare Psychologist Dr. Jeromy Warner says can be hard for kids to spot in themselves.

”When I ask most kids if they are anxious or if they have anxiety surprisingly they don’t know what anxiety is,” Warner said.

That’s troubling in light of the Department of Health and Human Services estimating that almost 50% of adolescents have had a mental disorder at some point in their life.

As with most things in life Warner says communication is key.

”The biggest thing is to inform them what anxiety is or your own experiences that’s always a good way to help them then identify I’ve got it and there’s way to be able to deal with it,” Warner told Local4 News.

Now Hastings therapist Cristi Eaglefeather said school can be one place where poor mental health is noticed.

”For any kids that are in the school system or in the school setting, if they struggle with any mental health or depression a lot of times they come off as behavioral,” Eaglefeather said. “So they’re being defiant, they’re not following directions, they’re needing to stand up or do other things. Just they have a hard time paying attention.”

At the end of the school year, those feelings of anxiety can be overwhelming, especially if kids feel like they’re not being listened to, and in those situations, a dangerous combo is created.

”They kind of just end up withdrawing in themselves and then that’s where that depression ends up kid of manifesting more and because they are falling behind that’s when the anxiety starts amping up for them,” Eaglefeather said.

Warner said there is a way parent can help their kids.

”Get to know your child, who are the resources available to them, and do they know they have that opportunity, ask them who’s somebody you feel you can talk to,” Warner said.

Warner said to look out for warning signs of declining mental health like losing interest in things they used to be interested in.

Copyright 2022 KSNB. All rights reserved.