For generations, young people impacted by mental illness have experienced discrimination at school and often do not seek diagnosis or treatment for fear of being “found out.” Our mission is to educate the community to reduce the stigma of mental illness so we can walk alongside youth as they receive full acceptance and the high-quality care they deserve.
Fully 20 percent — 1 in 5 — of children ages 13-18 currently have or previously had a serious mental illness. By comparison, 8.3 percent of children under age 18 have asthma and 0.2 percent have diabetes.
Although the onset of mental illness generally occurs early in childhood or adolescence, diagnosis is often delayed for years or even decades. Some of the most common mental illnesses impacting children include ADD, ADHD, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.
It’s important to note that behavioral health is a term that covers the full range of mental and emotional well-being – from the basics of how we cope with day-to-day challenges of life, to the treatment of mental illnesses, such as depression or personality disorder, as well as substance use disorder and other addictive behaviors.
Many everyday stresses can cause changes in your child’s behavior. For example, the birth of a sibling may cause a child to temporarily act much younger than he or she is. It is important to be able to tell the difference between typical behavior changes and those associated with more serious problems.
As a supportive parent, you can help your child manage difficulties early in life in order to prevent the development of disorders.
Some children get better with time, but other children need ongoing professional help. Talk to your child’s doctor or specialist about problems that are severe, continuous, and affect daily activities. Also, don’t delay seeking help. Treatment may produce better results if started early.
The following tips address common questions about diagnosis and treatment options for children with mental illnesses.
If you’re worried about your child, have questions or need help, please call our free Community Referral Line at 918.585.1213 or 405.943.3700. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are available Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm.
The more you learn about navigating the complex mental health system, the better you can work with your child’s doctor and make decisions that feel right for you, your child, and your family.
If you are concerned about your adolescent’s mental health, our free TeenScreen service is a youth wellness screening program that identifies general health and mental health concerns in 6th-12th grade youth.
Within our Tulsa and Oklahoma City offices, our TeenScreen staff offer by-appointment-only screenings.
The screening is simple. Your adolescent will complete a computer-based survey of mental health concerns on a laptop. If a screener identifies a mental health concern, including suicidal thoughts or behavior, the screener will contact you to work through a plan to connect your teen with the necessary support and treatment. Our screener will continue to provide support to your family until your teen engages in treatment, if you choose to seek counseling.
If you’re interested in getting your teen screened at our office in Tulsa or Oklahoma City, please fill out the interest form below to set up an appointment.