Health Watch — Parenting: Mental Health

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about what parents can do to help their children be safe and healthy. A child’s mental health is just as important as physical health, and although we don’t like to think of children suffering from mental illness, half of all cases of mental illness start before the age of 14, and three-fourths start before age 24.

Dr. Graham Emslie, a psychiatrist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says early detection and treatment are essential. Signs to look for are the child feeling anxious or depressed or having trouble performing at the same level as before either at home, at school or with friends. Changes could be the result of a developmental phase, but could also be more serious. If you think your child is acting out of character, talk to your primary care doctor or consider consulting a specialist.   


October 2007

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