How to recognize mental illness in children

Parents, teachers, and other adults can learn to recognize the warning signs of serious mental illness and suicidal thoughts in children.

Aug. 13, 2019 | Original article
Patti Verbanas-Rutgers | futurity
~1 mins

woman consoles preteen girl by holding her close, hands on her head

Parents, teachers, and other adults can learn to recognize the warning signs of mental illness in children.

A recent report shows a rise in suicide attempts via drug overdose by preteens in New Jersey over the past 18 months. The findings align with national trends.

“This illustrates the need for people who encounter children regularly to be aware of early signs of mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts,” says Kelly Moore, program manager for the Children’s Center for Resilience and Trauma Recovery at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

“Children who appear aggressive or despondent may actually be dealing with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or trauma.”

Moore trains adults who have daily contact with young children, such as teachers, coaches, parents, and others, to recognize the warning signs of serious mental illness and suicidal thoughts, and to connect them with the help they need.

The report comes from the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers.

Here, Moore talks about children and mental health care:

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