Like adults, children can indeed have mental health problems. If the issue is not professionally identified and treated as soon as possible, it can have wide-reaching and lifelong effects on a young person’s development and into adulthood.
Let’s talk about why pediatric mental health is significant in a child’s development, and where you can go in Tuckahoe for outstanding pediatric care.
How Common Are Pediatric Mental Health Issues?
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) reports that about 20% of children (i.e., people who are under the age of 18) in the United States have diagnosable mental and behavioral health issues or learning problems. Unfortunately, only a fraction–about one-fifth–of those kids get professional services to diagnose and plan treatment for those disorders.
Why Pediatric Mental Health Treatment Is Significant
Mental illness which begins in childhood can impact the child’s social, emotional, and relational development well into adulthood, often resulting in additional problems such as:
- Substance abuse
- Domestic violence
- Social isolation
- Poor school and job performance
- Lower economic resources
As such, it’s critical for healthcare professionals, such as your pediatrician, to partner with parents, caregivers, teachers, social workers, and other mental health professionals (if applicable) in identifying the risk factors which impact a child’s mental health and emotional well-being. Next comes getting consistent, quality treatment from professionals who are invested in the lives of young people.
How Your Pediatrician Can Help with Your Child’s Mental Health Problems
In order to optimize pediatric mental health for children who are showing signs of difficulty at home or at school, your pediatrician will provide connections to specialists (such as child psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists), medical therapies, and other services. Your children’s primary care physician will track developmental milestones and help your child develop social skills and coping mechanisms.
These issues can include:
- Anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Autistic spectrum disorders
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders, particularly among teen girls
The risk factors and/or signs of mental health dysfunction include:
- Early childhood trauma
- Alcohol or substance abuse in the home
- Poor socioeconomic status
- Persistent melancholy (depression-like symptoms)
- Talk or thoughts of worthlessness and failure
- Self-harm ideations
- Suddenly lower grades and a change in friendships
- Loss of weight and appetite
- Changes in sleep habits (either too much or too little sleep)
- Sudden bouts of anger
- Headaches and upset stomach
Pediatric Mental Health Services in Tuckahoe, NY
Your pediatrician at Village Pediatric Group is your first and best resource for mental health treatment for kids. Whether your child needs therapy, medication, or another type of intervention, we are here to help you and your child navigate the path to total wellness.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a confidential consultation, call our office today at (914) 771-7070 or fill out our Request an Appointment form online now. We look forward to serving your family!