Mental health is an important part of a child’s overall health and has a profound impact on a child’s physical health and his or her ability to succeed in school and in society. The mental health of a child is as important as the child’s physical health in affecting how the child thinks, feels, and acts, both on the inside and outside. Mental health issues can have a long term impact on a child’s ability to fulfill his or her potential as an adolescent and as an adult.
The American Psychological Association (APA) estimates that 15 million children in the United States are currently experiencing some form of mental disorder, and many more are at risk of developing a mental disorder due to a wide variety of risk factors, including biology and genetics; family, school, and community influences; and peer pressure. It is also estimated that only about 7 percent of these youths receive appropriate mental health services from professional mental health service providers.
Research in child and adolescent psychology has helped bring about great advancements in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders in children and adolescents. Our professional staff is trained to consider the complete spectrum of a child’s or adolescent’s mental development in the areas of identity, emotions, social relations, cognition, and biology and genetics. Counseling and therapy can help children and adolescents meet the challenges of growing up, such as stress, anxiety, depression, and a variety of emotional and behavioral issues. Therapy administered by a professional can also help children and adolescents overcome the effects of significant life events, such as a death in the family, trauma, abuse, or parental separation, which can lead to problems with stress, mood, appetite, sleep, and problems at school or at home. Other factors that may indicate that a child or adolescent may benefit from professional psychological counseling include developmental delays, learning disabilities, behavioral issues, a significant downturn in academic performance, withdrawal from friends or family, mood swings, insomnia, bullying, signs of alcoholism or drug abuse, and sudden changes in appetite or eating habits, especially in adolescents.