U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  1. Home
  2. Employee and Family Resources
  3. Health and Wellness
  4. Recognizing Mental Health Problems in Children

Recognizing Mental Health Problems in Children

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:


  • Last Modified: May 24, 2022
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content