Mental health problems are common in children and can interfere with their daily lives. Parents and other family members are usually the first to notice a change in a child’s emotions or behavior. These signs may indicate a child’s need for professional help:
- Persistent sadness lasting two weeks or longer.
- Withdrawing from or avoiding social interactions.
- Actual or discussed self-harm.
- Talking about death or suicide.
- Outbursts or extreme irritability.
- Potentially harmful out-of-control behavior.
- Drastic changes in mood, behavior, or personality.
- Changes in eating habits.
- Sudden, unexplained weight loss.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Frequent headaches or stomachaches.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Changes in academic performance.
- Avoiding or missing school.
A child may only show some, or even none, of these symptoms. As with other health conditions, seek professional help for diagnosis and treatment by contacting:
- CBP’s Employee Assistance Program (password: CBPEAP) or (800) 755-7002.
- A healthcare provider.
- A local Chaplain, Peer Support, or Veteran Support member.