Warning Signs

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than two weeks. Significant changes in school performance. Hyperactive behavior. Frequent disobedience or aggression. Fr

Warning Signs

AGES 13-18

Mental health warning signs for elementary and middle school age children

Common signs of a mental health problem for high school age children and young adults Drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality or sleeping habits for more than two weeks

“When your child’s anxiety impacts home, school or friends, it is a sign that your child may need some help to address their worries.” – Kristan Bagley-Jones, LICSW, Director, Children’s Wellness Initiative

Signs of rage, uncontrolled anger or agitation

Significant changes in school performance

Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or weight gain Sudden, overwhelming fear or anxiety for no reason

Hyperactive behavior

Withdrawal from friends, family and community Frequent disobedience or aggression

Frequent emotional outbursts and/or aggressive behaviors

Seeing, hearing or believing things that are not real “It’s these symptoms experienced in combination that indicate a real need for professional help. Mental health problems are treatable & early identification is extremely important.” – Dr. Anthony Sossong, Medical Director, McLean-Franciscan Community Based Acute Treatment (CBAT) Program

“Youth sometimes abuse drugs or alcohol as a means of coping or masking a serious mental illness.” – Dr. Fatima Watt, Director, Outpatient Mental Health Services

“It’s an abrupt change you’re looking for here—that may be an indication of a problem.” – Kristan Bagley-Jones, LICSW, Director, Children’s Wellness Initiative

Frequent nightmares

If you believe your child is in crisis, seriously trying to harm or kill themselves, or making plans to do so, immediately call 911 and stay with your child until help arrives.

Repeatedly using drugs or alcohol

Significant changes in school performance, difficulty concentrating or staying still

Severe, out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors

30 Warren St. Brighton, MA 02135 Main: 617-254-3800 Mental Health Resource Line: 617-779-1556 FranciscanChildrens.org

Sources: The above lists were created from information provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the American Association of Suicidology.

AGES 6-12

Excessive worry or anxiety, for instance fighting to avoid bed or school

If your child shows or expresses any of the following behaviors or symptoms, they may signal early stages or signs of depression or anxiety. It is important to keep an eye out for abrupt changes or a pattern of signs which, when combined, may mean your child needs help.