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How Do I Know If My Child Needs Counseling

 |  General

Children and teenagers, just like adults, can be vulnerable to mental and behavioral health concerns including anxiety and depression. About 9.4% of kids aged 2-17 have behavioral problems, ADHD, anxiety, or depression according to the CDC.

Counseling for your child and/or family can help. A counselor can offer unbiased feedback to you and/or your child, listen to their problems, discuss their feelings, and allow them to work through trauma, difficult situations, and other experiences in a safe, comfortable place.

Since their brains are still developing, children are able to get a lot of benefits from counseling, and early counseling can help prevent further serious mental or behavioral health concerns later in life. But how do you know if your child needs counseling? There are a few common things you may want to keep an eye out for.

When To Seek Help For Your Child – 6 Common Signs

It can be difficult to think about getting counseling for your child, so sometimes, parents miss or ignore the signs that their child needs help. There are a few things that are serious “red flags,” and indicate that your child’s struggles may require the intervention of a specialist.

  1. Talk of self-harm – Any talk or discussion of self-harm, no matter how minor, is concerning for children. Cutting, scratching, burning, hitting or punching oneself, and talks of other types of self-harm are indicators that you should be concerned about your child’s mental health and seek help.
  2. Withdrawal from family or friends – This can be subtle, and happen over a long period of time, so it’s sometimes harder to notice. But if you notice your child is no longer hanging out with friends, is spending more time alone, does not want to be around family, and is withdrawing from things they used to enjoy, this may indicate a serious concern.
  3. Self-destructive behavior – This could include things like getting in fights, not doing homework or failing a test because they didn’t study, or even the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other self-destructive actions.
  4. Expressions of hopelessness – If your child tells you, friends, or others that they feel like they have no hope or future it may indicate that your child needs counseling.
  5. Talks of suicide – If your child mentions suicide, you need to seek help from a therapist right away. Suicide is a particularly serious issue in teenagers. Get counseling for your child immediately.
  6. Extreme feelings of worry or sadness – Everyone feels worried or sad from time-to-time, but if your child seems to be having extreme feelings of worry and anxiety, or sadness and depression, this may indicate that they have a more serious mental health concern.

Every child is different. But if you notice any of these things or other profound changes in your child’s behavior, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with a child counselor immediately so that they can get the help they need.  Often times this can include support for you and the family as well.

Contact Bayless Integrated Health Center For Help Today!

Mental health is a very serious issue, and kids of all ages can be affected by anxiety, depression, thoughts of self-harm, and other behavioral issues and destructive tendencies. And without proper counseling, these concerns could escalate over time. Prioritize your child’s mental health as you do their physical well being.

At Bayless Integrated Health Center, we focus on physical, emotional, behavioral, and social healthcare for patients of all ages, including kids. If you believe your child or teen needs to see a counselor, please contact us right now to schedule an initial consultation with a child counselor.