April 29, 2021
MASSENA, NY – Depression and anxiety may have a role in many of our lives these days, and children are also experiencing a magnitude of mixed emotions, or developmental or social challenges.
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is being observed May 2-8, and this may provide the perfect opportunity for parents and guardians to sit down with the children in their lives to see how they are managing. This dedicated week also presents an excellent time to observe a child or infant who may be experiencing challenges in meeting developmental milestones.
According to Pediatrician Sunny Patel, MD, with Massena Hospital’s Kids Korner, some of the more common childhood mental disorders include attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Some childhood disorders may not be outgrown, but with the correct environment and support, the disorder can be controlled and managed to where the child can live a normal, healthy life,” he said.
A mentally healthy child can reach developmental and emotional milestones while learning healthy social skills. One of the biggest components for any child is learning how to manage their responses and emotions when they are presented with problems.
“Some children may have difficulties with playing, learning, speaking, or controlling their emotions. Other symptoms to be mindful of are poor academic performance, social isolation, harmful thoughts and behaviors, and lacking to meet proper developmental milestones,” Dr. Patel said.
The Pediatric team throughout St. Lawrence Health is experienced in providing any number of treatment options, and are ready to assist you and your child.
“Parents and providers should work closely with everyone involved in the child’s treatment - teachers, coaches, therapists, and other family members,” Dr. Patel noted. “Taking advantage of all the resources available will help parents, health professionals, and educators guide the child towards success. Early diagnosis and appropriate services for children and their families can make a difference in the lives of children with mental disorders.”
Dr. Patel pointed out that in some circumstances children may require medications, but that is not always the case. “The most common childhood mental health concerns can be appropriately managed without medications with a well-coordinated team, including the family,” he said.
Don’t put your care on hold; learn more about the St. Lawrence Health Pediatric team, or get established with a provider.