Children's Mental Health Awareness

Depression is an odd piece to the puzzle, and can affect our lives in so many ways. Many times there are signs that are overlooked when someone we know is depressed. Most often overlooked are children, who suffer from depression also. The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health has declared the first full week in May as National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. During this time, people are encouraged to read, learn, and share information on Children’s Mental Health. The theme for 2010 National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Promoting Positive Mental Health from Birth to Adulthood

Oftentimes the signs and symptoms of depression exhibited by children may be misinterpreted. A child suddenly going through a period of “acting out” may in fact be suffering from depression. With children who suffer from illness or other mood disorders, depression is usually soon to follow. According to HealthCentral.com, approximately two-thirds of children and adolescents with major depressive disorder also have another mental disorder such as ADHD, Autism, or Anxiety related illness. If left untreated, the affects could be disastrous: extreme anger, substance abuse, violence, and even suicide. Fortunately, organizations all over the world are now speaking out and trying to educate the masses about depression in children in an effort to combat the side affects from depression early on. With the help of organizations like The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, children who suffer from depression can now go on to live healthy, productive lives.

Some of the following are signs that your child may be suffering from depression or a mood disorder:
• Feelings of sadness and hopelessness without good reason, and the feelings
don't go away.
• Extreme fearfulness - unexplained fears or more fears than most children.
• Anger that persists or occurs most of the time; overreactions.
• Anxiety or expression of more or greater worries than most other young
• Deterioration of school performance.
• Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
• Avoidance of friends and families.
• Changes in sleeping and eating habits.
• Poor concentration or difficulty sitting still or listening.
• Needs to perform the same routines repeatedly

For more information on Children’s Mental Health:

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