Alexandria, VA - In recognition of the challenges a new school year presents for children and adolescents, Mental Health America (MHA) is providing new resources on student mental health (http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/back-school), with an emphasis on web-based tools that can be easily shared across social media platforms.
This year, MHA has developed tools and resources to help increase understanding of how traumatic events can trigger mental health issues and is providing materials on the topic for parents, school personnel, and young people.
“Half of all mental health disorders begin by the age of 14. About 75 percent begin by the age of 24. Early identification and early intervention in children and young adults is essential to their current and future mental wellbeing,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of MHA. “As students head back to school, they can be dealing with a host of emotions. MHA wants to remind them that mental health issues are common and treatable and should be addressed as soon as possible - before Stage 4."
It’s important for parents, caregivers, and school personnel to know the signs that a young person is struggling with his or her mental health and be willing to help. While we can’t completely shield young people from all the traumatic situations they may face, we can help them learn to manage their emotions and reactions in ways that cultivate resilience.
The toolkit is designed for MHA affiliates, advocates, and organizations of all types to use with parents, youth and school personnel to raise awareness of the importance of proactively addressing issues related traumatic events.
This year’s toolkit includes fact sheets pertaining to:
- Understanding trauma
- Recognizing Anxiety
- Recognizing Psychosis
- Recognizing Depression
- Preventing Suicide
Taking a mental health screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Free, confidential, and anonymous screening tools are available at MHAScreening.org for parents and youth to find out if a young person may have symptoms of a behavioral, emotional or cognitive disorder. MHA’s website also has additional material on children’s mental health available here.