Throughout the history-making events of 2020, many people who had never experienced mental health challenges found themselves struggling for the first time. Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary depending on the disorder and circumstances.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, get help immediately by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Warning signs of mental illness in children:
• Withdrawing, not talking
• Hurting oneself or talking about hurting oneself
• Talking about death or suicide
• Isolating oneself from close friends
• Sudden changes in mood, positive or negative
• Changes in eating habits, sleeping habits
• Not finding joy in activities that previously were joyful
• New signs of startling easily
• Constant worrying about parents’ health and welfare
• Sudden sneaking out at night, engaging in risky behaviors, slipping grades
Ways parents can help their children:
• Talk to your kids, regularly check in on how they’re feeling
• Be transparent about your own feelings
• Connect with your kids by doing things together, such as:
a) COVID-safe ways to recharge, like socially distanced walks outside
b) Online yoga, meditation and exercise classes and videos
c) Plan fun activities to keep your family connected, such as regular movie nights, game nights, and cooking together
Seek professional help if those activities do not help, or if a child expresses wishes to die.
• Albertina Kerr Access Center: 503-408-4705
• Teen to Teen Crisis Line: 877-968-8491.
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.