Sunday, November 1, 2015

What Family Caregivers Need to Know about Children’s Mental Health




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



My previous blog dealt with mental health crisis, but there is general information about mental health issues that all families should know.  1 in 5 children have mental health issues, yet only 50% get help.  Half of mental illnesses start by age 14. The highest dropout rates are for kids with mental illness (source NAMI {National Alliance on Mental Illness.})   Here is a summary of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network’s mental health guide for families (see Resources.)

Photo www.unitedwayaustin.org

Access to care
 
Mental Health is just as important as physical health. The Affordable Care Act strengthened access to mental health services. One of the ten Essential Health Benefits is coverage for “mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment.”



Avoiding Stigma

In dealing with mental health, families must try to avoid the stigma associated with mental illness. The NAMI likens it to any other biologically-based illness except the organ affected just happens to be the brain, and the symptoms manifest as behavior. Just as no one would blame someone with diabetes who needed insulin, the same should be true for those who need treatment for mental illness.

When to Get Help

It could be time to talk with your primary care provider and consider getting professional help if your child has any of the following symptoms:

 Frequent temper tantrums

 Crying more than usual

 Not doing things they enjoy

 Waking up at night

 Needing a routine or doing the same things over and over

 Overeating or extreme dieting

 Not being able to sit still or pay attention

 Doing poorly in school

 Drinking, smoking, drugs

 Not dealing well with loss (such as death in the family)

 Trauma (natural disaster, abuse, accident etc.)

 Any behavior that is harmful to themselves or others
  
                                                  Photo www.coordinatedfamilycare.org

What to Expect

The mental health provider will do an assessment of the child, including family history. They may use tests to screen for certain conditions. If the assessment shows the possibility of a disorder, the child may need a more detailed evaluation to reach a diagnosis.



The Diagnosis

Sometimes the “not knowing” is worse than actually having a name for the condition. Once parents know what’s happening, they may not feel so helpless or hopeless.  The child may start having questions and ask about his/her condition. Children may ask, “Why I am I different,” or “Why is it so much harder for me to do things?”




                                             Photo http://forourkids1st.blogspot.com
                                                                    

Medication

Medication use is a personal decision. Families need to realize, however, that mental illness is “biologically based.” Families may also be concerned about the “black box warnings” on certain medications for children. The warning, although warranted, has predictably lowered the amount of certain prescriptions; however, there must be recognition that untreated depression is the highest risk factor for suicide. There are some excellent guides on medication use which should help parents, which also address this issue of balance.


                                                 

Supports and Services

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) emphasizes a Wellness/Recovery Model. Prevention, as well as getting better, are the key ideas. This idea of wellness is based on “evidence-based practices” (proven to work.) The key recovery concepts are hope, education, personal responsibility, support and self-advocacy.


Schools and Mental Health

Collaboration and education on mental health in the school setting is critical. Children spend many hours in the school environment. Schools have a responsibility to identify children who may have emotional, behavioral, and/or mental health challenges. When there are concerns, the child may go through a pre-referral intervention such as the Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) Team in New Jersey. The team may decide that the child just needs extra supports in school and then look at Response to Invention (RTI), which requires the school to provide “evidence-based” interventions and then determine whether those interventions had the desired effect.  An important piece for success at school is the use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Behavior is the result of the child trying to communicate the best he/she can.



State Agencies on Children’s Mental Health

Many states have a Department of Children and Families which can offer assistance. Some states have a “Children’s System of Care” which covers behavioral health. There may also be “mobile response” available for crisis intervention which means they would go to where the child is, including home, to try and deescalate the crisis and stabilize the situation.


Where to Find Help in Your Community

There are many organizations that support families of children with challenging behaviors. 
  •   Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
FFCMH is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families.” 
               http://www.ffcmh.org/chapters

  •   National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI has workshops for families, a Child & Adolescent Action Center, and a family guide on how a primary care doctor can address mental health.
 
  •   Parent-to Parent
Parent-to-Parent is a national network offering support to families. Trained volunteer parents are matched with families of children with the same condition. These services are free to families. Parents can get one-to-one support from another parent who’s “been there.” 

Advocacy/Self-Advocacy Issues

There are some issues regarding mental health that may affect children and also later as they become self-advocates. These can include minor consent, making medical decisions, parent’s rights, restraints, waiting in emergency rooms, and dual diagnosis of mental illness and developmental disability.

Other good resources for families:

There are resources for young children, helping siblings understand, and information for teens (listed in our mental health guide in Resources.)  Family caregivers who have children with mental illness can use this information to make good treatment choices for their child, resulting in best outcomes.



Resources

Children’s Mental Health Services:  A Family Guide

Parent Training and Information Centers

 

 
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports 




Remain Hopeful,


Lauren


Lauren Agoratus is a parent/advocate who works for the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network and serves as the NJ Coordinator for Family Voices (www.spanadvocacy.org), a national network that works to “keep families at the center of children’s healthcare” at www.familyvoices.org or FB www.facebook.com/pages/Family-Voices-Inc-National/137783182902269.  She also serves as NJ representative supporting caregivers across the lifespan for the Caregiver Action Network (formerly National Family Caregivers Association) in a volunteer capacity at http://caregiveraction.org/ or FB www.facebook.com/CaregiverActionNetwork.

 




29 comments:

  1. You had absolutely no control over the mess, right? But you had absolute control over your reaction to it and this is the key to using celebration to keep your mental health improved!
    guarantor

    ReplyDelete
  2. In the event that you are hunting down kitchen redesigning thoughts, don't escape by the delightful pictures you find in home outline magazines.
    best kitchen remodeling contractor westchester Your contemplations in picking materials, particularly for your kitchen floor, ought not be restricted to what they look like.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Speak Easy Therapy

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a informative post. This articles are also very good. Do you want to safe from some small animals ? You need to visit this pest control boulder site to get solution about that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am happy to find this website through google. where can you buy herbalife

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for sharing this articles. I got this what you mean by this post. Mental Health is just as important as physical health. Nowadays a smart TV comparison Tv comparisons chart chart help you to buying or using smart TV in this modern era.

    ReplyDelete
  7. رش مبيدات بالرياض نقدم لكم شركتنا كأفضل شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض والتى تعنى بتوفير سبل التخلص من كل ذلك بشتى الطرق شركة مكافحة البق بالرياض الامنھ والصحيھ والسليمھ المستخدمة فى عملية رش المبيدات شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض المضاده لتلك الحشرات بمختلف انواعھا (نمل- بق- صراصير –نمل ابيض) وغيرھا وذلك من قبل فريق شركة مكافحة الصراصير بالرياض عملنا بالرياض المتميز شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض والمحترف مما يساعدكم على التخلص منھا نھائيا دون رجعھ موفرا لكمالنظافھ التامھ على شركة مكافحة الفئران بالرياض اكمل وجه

    ReplyDelete
  8. In the classic Frank Capra film, It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey's mental health is overwhelmed by the difficulties of his life and he wishes he'd never been born. alcohol addiction

    ReplyDelete
  9. Eventually, this permits you access to cash all the more rapidly. Since these organizations understand that you can basically apply somewhere else on the off chance that they don't answer to you, they will typically endeavor to make the procedure speedy, simple and get assets to you with little bother. Check Cashing San-diego

    ReplyDelete
  10. As the sole service user in the room, and although generally benign on my service and treatment, I became irate. Were those engaged with commitment and caring for the mentally ill really at a loss to identify any strength in them?Mentalism Minds

    ReplyDelete
  11. As you are preforming your Mind Reading Tricks, always involve as many people as possible! I know, I know, you're going to say that 'Mind Reading is a one-on-one trick Click here

    ReplyDelete
  12. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. best substance abuse treatment centers

    ReplyDelete
  13. Association with different organizations that you can take part in business with is additionally conceivable. online car title loans chicago

    ReplyDelete
  14. In the event that you set up any guarantee, the bank has the privilege to take that advantage and exchange it, beneath showcase esteem in the event that they need to, check cashing san diego

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very nice post I really enjoyed it...You can also visit my website for....

    Call girls in Bangalore
    Call girls in Lucknow
    Call girls in Guwahati

    Call girls in Gurgaon
    Escorts in Bangalore
    Escorts in Lucknow

    Escorts in Guwahati
    Escorts in Gurgaon
    Bangalore escorts
    ========================================================================================

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love how wonderfully every word is written with proper balance.
    urine drug test

    ReplyDelete
  17. Given article is very helpful and very useful for my admin, and pardon me permission to share articles here hopefully helped :

    Cara Menyembuhkan Giardiasis

    ReplyDelete
  18. I thought haven’t read such distinctive material anywhere else on-line.urgent care near me

    ReplyDelete
  19. A business presently should guarantee that dangers in the working environment are evaluated through the ALARP rule, utilizing the Hierarchy of Controls to decide the absolute bottom of hazard. Safety Training Consultants BC

    ReplyDelete