What Makes A Fundraising Event Successful

Helping others is a task many people choose to do. This action allows individuals to share what they have and what they know to help unfortunate people to be able to enjoy their life. Meanwhile, some individuals devote themselves in helping unfortunate people by creating an organization. With this organization, individuals are supported by donors. However, there are times when donations are not enough to cater to the daily needs of every individual they wish to help. Thus, one of the best options to increase finances in an organization is by fundraising.

As of today, there are numerous fundraising ideas organizations can choose from. But, organizations must be aware about the benefits of the fundraising concept they opt for. They must also know essential factors that can make their fundraising event successful.

What makes a fundraising event successful?

Achieving fundraising goals

There are lots of reasons organizations create fundraising events such as raising funds for educational purposes, sports activities or for impaired individuals. Therefore, you need to make sure that you choose the best fundraising idea that can help you achieve your goals. With this said, you can easily attain the finances and ensure that your event is successful.

Knowing your target audience

Surely, there are individuals who want to help organizations achieve their goals. However, it is best that you know your target audience. Focusing on your target audience can help you attain better finances since these individuals understand what the organization wants to achieve.

Helping expand the organization

There are different places where individuals need help. By opting for fundraising events, you can easily expand your organization, which allows your team to provide better services to more unfortunate individuals who are seeking for help and attention.

Assisting recipients to be independent

Fundraising also helps organizations to be independent. This is important since you cannot depend on donors alone to provide finances every time. By creating fundraising events, you can teach individuals in the organization to be more independent which can help them to become more efficient and reliable.

Improving awareness in the community

Finally, a successful fundraising event can help improve awareness of individuals in your community. By building awareness, you can entice more supporters who can help you make your organization better. Building awareness can also help your organization to be more reputable.

Child and Adolescent Behavior Problems – Finding Help – Part 2 – Where to Find Help

What should you do if your child or adolescent is exhibiting signs of an emotional or behavioral problem or if you fear that your child might have a mental illness? First, and most importantly, trust your instincts. You know your child best. Parents are usually the first ones to notice that their child has a problem-you know his or her usual mood and reactions to situations and you know his or her level of functioning. If something seems not quite as it should, you should check it out.

If and when you mention your concerns to friends or relatives, you’ll find that everyone offers advice. They mean well, but if you want an expert opinion, you’ll need to seek out an expert. And while you can gain much from watching television therapists, in the case of or child, you really need to seek guidance from someone face-to-face. In the same room-not thousands of miles away in a TV studio.

If you need help right away and feel your child is in a crisis situation, you must go to the closest emergency room or mental health clinic. If you believe your child poses an immediate danger to himself or to anyone else, and you think-even remotely-that you might have trouble transporting him to the emergency room yourself, immediately dial 911. Do not concern yourself with what the neighbors might think. This is an emergency and must be handled that way.

If your child is having difficulties that do not pose an immediate crisis and you feel sure that waiting until an outpatient appointment date is safe, your first contact might be your child’s pediatrician or family physician-your child’s primary care physician (PCP). Call the doctor’s office and tell the receptionist that your child needs to be seen as soon as possible. When the appointment time is set, make sure that you keep the appointment. If your child’s other parent is available, he or she should accompany you.

You may find that your child’s PCP wants to be the sole care provider for your child. While your PCP can certainly prescribe medication for your child-such as antidepressants or ADHD medications-be aware that PCPs are not trained in psychiatry or psychology and you will have to go elsewhere for the talk-therapy component of your child’s treatment. Sometimes a PCP may provide brief counseling, but, as you know, your PCP’s time is limited and he or she does not have the “fifty-minute hour” that mental health professionals can provide.

If your child does not have a regular physician, ask your child’s school counselor or your clergyperson for a referral to a professional with expertise in adolescent mental health. One thing to be aware of here: While clergy can be helpful in crises of a spiritual nature, mental health problems require specialized assistance. Most clergy have limited exposure to, or education in, what is required to adequately and properly address mental health problems, and I recommend that you contact a mental health professional. Your church or synagogue may be able to put you in touch with a pastoral counseling program if a spiritual component is important to you, and these centers are usually staffed by mental health professionals.

The division of adolescent psychiatry or department of psychology in any medical school or university may provide a referral to a competent professional. Medical and psychiatric societies can also tell you where psychiatrists went to medical school, took residency training, and whether they are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Board certification is desirable.

Call or visit your community mental health center, mental health association, or a support group such as the local chapter of the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (FFCMH) or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). They may have a list of mental health professionals in your area who are accepting new patients.

Your employer may offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that may be able to steer you in the right direction. An EAP is a benefit from your employer, and many provide assistance to employees and their families for substance abuse, stress-related illnesses, depression, and other mental health issues. Visits are generally free, but there are usually a limited number of visits allowed. Although engaged by your employer, the EAP is bound by confidentially laws to keep your business private and your employer will not be notified that you have sought help from the EAP nor given information about issues discussed in your sessions.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Mental Health Is Important

Mental health is how people think, feel, and act as they face life’s situations. It affects how people handle stress, relate to one another, and make decisions. Mental health influences the ways individuals look at themselves, their lives, and others in their lives. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life.

All aspects of our lives are affected by our mental health. Caring for and protecting our children is an obligation and is critical to their daily lives and their independence.

Children and Adolescents Can Have Serious Mental Health Problems
Like adults, children and adolescents can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, and act. When untreated, mental health disorders can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence, and even suicide. Untreated mental health disorders can be very costly to families, communities, and the health care system.

In this fact sheet, “Mental Health Problems” for children and adolescents refers to the range of all diagnosable emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders. They include depression, attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety, conduct, and eating disorders. Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time.
“Serious Emotional Disturbances” for children and adolescents refers to the above disorders when they severely disrupt daily functioning in home, school, or community. Serious emotional disturbances affect 1 in every 10 young people at any given time.

Mental Health Disorders Are More Common in Young People than Many Realize.

Studies show that at least one in five children and adolescents have a mental health disorder. At least one in 10, or about 6 million people, have a serious emotional disturbance.

The Causes Are Complicated

Mental health disorders in children and adolescents are caused mostly by biology and environment. Examples of biological causes are genetics, chemical imbalances in the body, or damage to the central nervous system, such as a head injury. Many environmental factors also put young people at risk for developing mental health disorders. Examples include:

Exposure to environmental toxins, such as high levels of lead;
Exposure to violence, such as witnessing or being the victim of physical or sexual abuse, drive-by shootings, muggings, or other disasters; Stress related to chronic poverty, discrimination, or other serious hardships; and
The loss of important people through death, divorce, or broken relationships.

Signs of Mental Health Disorders Can Signal a Need for Help

Children and adolescents with mental health issues need to get help as soon as possible. A variety of signs may point to mental health disorders or serious emotional disturbances in children or adolescents. Pay attention if a child or adolescent you know has any of these warning signs:

A child or adolescent is troubled by feeling:

Sad and hopeless for no reason, and these feelings do not go away. Very angry most of the time and crying a lot or overreacting to things.

Worthless or guilty often.

Anxious or worried often.

Unable to get over a loss or death of someone important.
Extremely fearful or having unexplained fears.

Constantly concerned about physical problems or physical appearance.

Frightened that his or her mind either is controlled or is out of control.

A child or adolescent experiences big changes, such as:

Showing declining performance in school.

Losing interest in things once enjoyed.

Experiencing unexplained changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

Avoiding friends or family and wanting to be alone all the time.

Daydreaming too much and not completing tasks.

Feeling life is too hard to handle.

Hearing voices that cannot be explained.

Experiencing suicidal thoughts.

A child or adolescent experiences:

Poor concentration and is unable to think straight or make up his or her mind.

An inability to sit still or focus attention.
Worry about being harmed, hurting others, or doing something “bad”.

A need to wash, clean things, or perform certain routines hundreds of times a day, in order to avoid an unsubstantiated danger.

Racing thoughts that are almost too fast to follow.
Persistent nightmares.

A child or adolescent behaves in ways that cause problems, such as:

Using alcohol or other drugs.

Eating large amounts of food and then purging, or abusing laxatives, to avoid weight gain.

Dieting and/or exercising obsessively.

Violating the rights of others or constantly breaking the law without regard for other people.

Setting fires.

Doing things that can be life threatening.

Killing animals.

Importance of Mental Health Among Youth

Mental health is not merely the absence of mental illness, but it also the ability to cope with the challenges in life. Mental health is as important as physical health to everybody. Youths usually experiment with attitudes, appearances, and behaviors. Most of their experiments are harmless, but some experiments may have terrible results. Children and youths experience mental health problem such as stress, anxiety, harassment, family problems, depression, learning disability, etc. Serious mental health problems, such as self-injurious behaviors and suicide, are increasing among youth.
A good mental health is essential for leading a good life. Youth cannot succeed in academic and personal life effectively if they are struggling with a mental health problem, such as depression or unsteady feeling due to academic, social or family pressures.

Failure to detect youth’s mental health problem may result in negative consequences such as increased risk for academic failure, social isolation, unsafe sexual behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide attempt, unemployment, and poor health. A recent report says, The rising rates of mental and emotional problems among U.S. children and youngsters signal a crisis for the country.

Depression, anxiety, attention deficit, conduct disorders, suicidal thinking, and other serious psychological problems are striking more and more children and youths. Conservative estimates say one in every ten children and adolescents now suffers from mental illness severe enough to cause impairment.” Even if detected earlier, unfortunately many children and youth do not receive the help they need. Some reports are there that most children and youth who need a mental health evaluation do not receive services and that the rates of use of mental health services are also low.
Parents and adults must take care of the youth’s mental health. The parents and adults must talk with the youth, be a good role models to them, advice them to choose good friends, and monitor their activities.

There is a growing and unmet need for mental health services for children and youth. Mental health services are important for student’s and youth’s success. Prevention programs help in early identification of mental health problems in youth. These programs provide education on mental health issues, violence prevention, social skills training, harassment prevention, suicide prevention, conflict resolution, and screening for emotional and behavioral problems. The Family Guide Web sites are designed for parents and other adults to emphasize the importance of family, promote mental health, and help prevent underage use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.

Good mental health is very important for youth’s success. In order to emphasize the importance of mental health in youth, the following steps can be taken: Create awareness of child and youth mental health issues; provide a comprehensive guide for effective and meaningful youth meetings for organizations and professionals; and Conduct programs to generate awareness about youth’s mental health in each communities. Awareness about the importance of mental health issues among youth equally important to other physical issues, such as heart disease, AIDS, cancer, etc. Local and state health officials must draw more attention to the importance of mental health treatment of affected children and youths.

Attention to youth’s mental health will more effectively improve their life standard. This also positively impacts their academic and personal life achievements. The families, society and youths benefit only when mental health problems in youths are identified and prevented earlier.

Child and Adolescent Behavior Problems – Finding Help – Part 3 – Who’s Who

If you’re concerned about your child’s or adolescent’s recent behavior, you may have already approached your child’s primary care physician (PCP). But, if you feel your child needs more help than can be offered by the PCP, then the time to seek out a mental health professional is now. There are many types of professionals in the mental health field, with a wide variety of expertise. There is no one-type-fits-all when looking for mental health care, and you may find that after your child begins therapy with a practitioner that you feel that you should switch.

That does happen, and sometimes changing therapists will provide an improved outcome. Sometimes change is necessary. Just be aware that therapy is hard and therapy is difficult and therapy sometimes hurts and brings up unpleasant memories or thoughts or feelings-and when that happens, it is not the time to switch therapists.

Just remember that.

Okay, now who’s who and what do all the letters mean?

A child and adolescent psychiatrist is a fully-trained and licensed medical doctor (M.D.) or osteopathic physician (D.O.) who has been specially trained in psychiatry and who has at least two additional years of advanced training dealing with children, adolescents, and families beyond medical school and general psychiatric training. You’ll want a psychiatrist who is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in child and adolescent psychiatry. And I’m sure you already know that psychiatrists-because they are licensed physicians-are the only mental health professionals who can prescribe and monitor medications.

Psychologists specialize in psychotherapy-the “talk therapy” component of treatment. Psychologists work to understand and improve the patient’s functioning at home, at school, at play, at work, and in society. Some psychologists hold masters’ degrees (M.S.), and others have doctoral degrees (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D.) in clinical, educational, counseling, developmental, or research psychology. Psychologists are licensed in all states, and those with doctoral degrees are referred to as “Doctor”. Be reminded, however, that psychologists are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe nor properly monitor medications. There are different types of psychologists, including clinical psychologists (who offer counseling and psychotherapy and possibly psychological testing), educational or school psychologists (who work to identify academic strengths and weaknesses and specific learning disorders or developmental learning problems), neuropsychologists (who diagnosis mental and behavioral problems that are related to brain injuries), and still other types of psychologists who on focus on different areas.

If your child or adolescent has been demonstrating signs of emotional or behavioral instability in school, you may have already met with the school’s social worker. A social worker holds either a bachelor’s degree (B.A., B.S., or B.S.W.) or a master’s degree (M.S. or M.S.W.). In most states, a social worker can take an examination to be licensed as a clinical social worker. While there are many different types of social workers, only a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with a master’s degree in social work can provide clinical services as an independent practitioner. Social workers provide many different forms of treatment, and some are excellent at what they do.

A certified professional counselor (CPC) or a licensed professional counselor (LPC) holds a master’s degree and state licensure or certification at the highest level of independent practice in the state where they practice. Many work in offices with other mental health practitioners, and some have solo practices.

Marriage and family therapists are identified as either MFT or MFCC (marriage, family and child counselor) and hold a master’s degree. These therapists provide assistance to troubled children and families and to individuals coping with troubled relationships.

Adolescent Mental Health – 5 Warning Signs That Need Your Attention

Do you ever look at your teen and wonder, “What’s with him (or her)?” If you had your own troubles as a teen, you may silently dismiss your child’s negative behavior as a passing phase, hoping that things will improve and that he’ll quickly and safely pass through the storm.

Or, on the other hand, you may worry whether things might get worse.

In either case, you must be aware of some signs that your adolescent must be seen by a mental health professional as quickly as possible, and five of those signs are given below.

If your child is thinking or talking about suicide, you must act quickly. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) issued a special press release in 2007 concerning the alarming increase in suicides for young people ages one to nineteen: an 18.2 percent increase from 2003 to 2004. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the United States for fifteen to twenty-year-olds and the fourth leading cause of death for ten to fourteen-year-olds. If your child or adolescent tells you that he or she feels suicidal or wants to die, take them seriously. Do not think that it is “just a joke” or a way to get attention. You cannot take that chance.

Experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence is not uncommon, and there a lot of reasons they do this. The average age at which boys first try alcohol is 11 years, and for girls it is 13 years. There is no way to know ahead of time who will go on to develop a serious drug or alcohol problem, but the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism tells us that adolescents who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21. If your teen is showing signs of unusual fatigue, reddened or glazed eyes, personality changes, poor judgment, dropping grades, or troubles with the law, you need to address the problem.

Expressions of worthlessness or guilt on the part of your adolescent may be a sign that he feels that there is nothing left for live for. Telling you that he doesn’t feel “good enough”, or that he is caught in a situation that he can’t get out of, or that he feels devastated or alone in the world may be your adolescent’s way of telling you that he wants and needs help.

Some children innocently harm insects or other small animals when they are very young, but most are guided by their parents and teachers to be gentle with animals (“Don’t pull the cat’s tail) and quickly develop empathy and concern for any pain that an animal may feel. Unfortunately, some may continue abusing animals and extend that cruelty on to people. The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Northeastern University tell us that those who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse. The American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty to be one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder.

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, has very much been in the news of late, as the media has speculated that some celebrities may be suffering from the disorder. Those persons with bipolar disorder suffer through extreme highs and lows in a cyclic fashion. You may have heard that bipolar disorder affects mostly adults, but these days, many children and adolescents are being diagnosed with the disorder. If one or both parents have bipolar disorder, the chances are greater that their children will develop it, and a family history of drug or alcohol abuse may also be associated with bipolar disorder in adolescents. Manic (high) symptoms include the teen being either unusually happy or silly or very irritable, angry, agitated or aggressive, unrealistic feelings about abilities or that he or she has special powers, having an extraordinary level of energy and the ability to function with little or no sleep, and taking part in high-risk behaviors, such as abusing alcohol and drugs, reckless driving, or sexual promiscuity.

Depressive (low) symptoms include frequent crying, sadness that doesn’t go away, irritability, not being able to enjoy favorite activities, and major changes in eating or sleeping patterns, such as oversleeping or overeating.

There are more signs to be on the alert for, but if you are concerned that your child may have an emotional or behavioral problem, seek the advice of a mental health professional immediately.

GIRL POWER! Is Good Mental Health

GIRL POWER! is paving the way for girls to build confidence, competence, and pride in themselves, in other words, enhancing girls’ mental wellness. Girl Power! is also providing messages and materials to girls about the risks and consequences associated with substance abuse and with potential mental health concerns. For instance, did you know:

Girls are seven times more likely than boys to be depressed and twice as likely to attempt suicide.*

Girls are three times more likely than boys to have a negative body image (often reflected in eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia).*

One in five girls in the U.S. between the ages of 12 and 17 drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.*

Girls who develop positive interpersonal and social skills decrease their risk of substance abuse.*

Girls who have an interest and ability in areas such as academics, the arts, sports, and community activities are more likely to develop confidence and may be less likely to use drugs.*

On the other hand, this also is a time when girls may make decisions to try risky behaviors, including drinking, smoking, and using drugs.*

The Girl Power! Campaign, under the leadership of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is collaborating with the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) to provide this valuable mental health information.

* Girl Power! Hometown Media Kit, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 1997.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Results from a study of nearly 6,000 people aged 15 to 24 show that among young people with a history of both a mental disorder and an addictive disorder, the mental disorder is usually reported to have occurred first. The onset of mental health problems may occur about 5 to 10 years before the substance abuse disorders.**

This provides a “window of opportunity” for targeted substance abuse prevention interventions and needed mental health services.

** “National Comorbidity Survey,” Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D., et al., American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, June 1996.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health is how we think, feel, and act in order to face life’s situations. It is how we look at ourselves, our lives, and the people we know and care about. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, evaluate our options, and make choices. Everyone has mental health.

A young girl’s mental health affects her daily life and future. Schoolwork, relationships, and physical health can be affected by mental health. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life. Caring for and protecting a child’s mental health is a major part of helping that child grow to become the best she can be.

Girls’ independence is usually encouraged in childhood, and their strengths nurtured. Most girls become emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy young adults. But sometimes, during the transition from childhood to adolescence, extra care is necessary, so that a girl’s self-esteem and coping skills are not diminished. For more information on teen mental health, call 1-800-789-2647 and ask for the brochure: “You and Mental Health: What’s the Deal?” (Order # CA-0002)

Nurturing Your Child’s Mental Health

Parents and other caregivers are responsible for children’s physical safety and emotional well-being. Parenting styles vary; there is no one right way to raise a child. Clear and consistent expectations for each child, by all caregivers, are important. Many good books are available in libraries or at bookstores on child development, constructive problem-solving, discipline styles, and other parenting skills. The following suggestions are not meant to be complete.

Do your best to provide a safe home and community for your child, as well as nutritious meals, regular health check-ups, immunizations, and exercise.

Be aware of stages in child development so you don’t expect too much or too little from your child.

Encourage your child to express her feelings; respect those feelings. Let your child know that everyone experiences pain, fear, anger, and anxiety.

Try to learn the source of these feelings. Help your child express anger positively, without resorting to violence.

Promote mutual respect and trust. Keep your voice level down–even when you don’t agree. Keep communication channels open.

Listen to your child. Use words and examples your child can understand. Encourage questions.

Provide comfort and assurance. Be honest. Focus on the positives. Express your willingness to talk about any subject.

Look at your own problem-solving and coping skills. Do you turn to alcohol or drugs? Are you setting a good example? Seek help if you are overwhelmed by your child’s feelings or behaviors or if you are unable to control your own frustration or anger.

Encourage your child’s talents and accept limitations.

Set goals based on the child’s abilities and interests–not someone else’s expectations. Celebrate accomplishments. Don’t compare your child’s abilities to those of other children; appreciate the uniqueness of your child. Spend time regularly with your child.

Foster your child’s independence and self-worth.

Help your child deal with life’s ups and downs. Show confidence in your child’s ability to handle problems and tackle new experiences.

Discipline constructively, fairly, and consistently. (Discipline is a form of teaching, not physical punishment.) All children and families are different; learn what is effective for your child. Show approval for positive behaviors. Help your child learn from her mistakes.

Love unconditionally. Teach the value of apologies, cooperation, patience, forgiveness, and consideration for others. Do not expect to be perfect; parenting is a difficult job. Many good books are available in libraries or at bookstores on child development, constructive problem-solving, discipline styles, and other parenting skills.
Mental Health Problems Many children experience mental health problems that are real and painful and can be severe.

Mental health problems affect at least one in every five young people, at any given time. At least 1 in 10 children may have a serious emotional disturbance that severely disrupts his or her ability to function.

Tragically an estimated two-thirds of all young people with mental health problems are not getting the help they need. Mental health problems can lead to school failure, alcohol or other drug abuse, family discord, violence, or even suicide.

A variety of signs may point to a possible mental health problem in a child or teenager. If you are concerned about a child or have any questions, seek help immediately. Talk to your doctor, a school counselor, or other mental health professionals who are trained to assess whether your child has a mental health problem. For a list of warning signs, call 1-800-789-2647 and ask for the brochure “Your Child’s Mental Health: What Every Family Should Know. (Order # CA-0001)

Exploring The Job Options For Mental Health Nursing

As a mental health nurse, you probably know that you have to be empathetic, responsible, work well under pressure, and be able to relate with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.

But if you are seeking a mental health job, how do you know which area is best for you? It is important that you find employment in an area where you will be best suited. Take a look at these three options for this nursing specialty:

1. Forensic & Correctional

As a nurse working in the forensic or correctional sector, you will be required to provide nursing assessment, treatment and rehabilitation in an inpatient environment.

If you are interested in this challenging role, you should have several years experience in mental health rehabilitation as well as in calming and restraint education.

2. District Health Board (DHB) / Local Health Authority

If you are a recent graduate, a job with the DHB is a great place to start. There are a range of different job options available, and you will have room and opportunity to grow. You can work in a variety of areas, including alcohol and drug, child and adolescent, mental health and psychiatric emergency services.

The DHB is always in need of good nurses qualified in this nursing specialty, and working for them means knowing that you are making a valuable contribution to your community.

3. Community

As a community health nurse, you will be required to visit patients in the community, or you may be based at a GP. You will also be the first point of referral to psychologists and other healthcare professionals.

As a community nurse, you will need several years experience in mental health nursing. Community mental health nursing can involve a lot of responsibility, and can be demanding, but also extremely rewarding.

These are just a few career options for this nursing specialty.

Finding the perfect role can be difficult, especially if you are looking for employment in a new country. Trying to research employment opportunities, arrange immigration/working visa requirements, finding accommodation and/or somewhere to live while still working can make the whole process very overwhelming. Rather than take on this whole process yourself, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a professional health recruitment company which specialises in the areas of nursing that you have qualifications in. An experienced and well known recruitment company will be able to match you to a job that best suits your qualifications, goals and background.

Child and Adolescent Behavior Problems – Finding Help – Part 1 – How to Know When to Say “When”

Normal adolescence is all about upheaval. First and foremost, there is puberty to deal with, which is properly defined as “a complex biologic and physiological process involving sexual development, accelerated growth, and adrenal maturation”.

That sounds like a lot, but what it all means is that there is “sexual development”, i.e., your kids are changing sexually, there is “accelerated growth”, i.e., your kids are growing really fast and last season’s clothes probably don’t fit, and, finally, there is “adrenal maturation”, i.e., your kids’ hormones are kicking in.

This is all new stuff to your kids, and even in the best of situations, these changes, all coming about so rapidly, can cause stress and exaggerated reactions to that stress. This is all normal.

For some-kids who have been abused or neglected or those who just seem to react poorly to their situations-you need to be aware of signs that point to your child having serious difficulties. Please take special note here: I have just said above, “kids who have been abused or neglected or those who just seem to react poorly to their situations”. As parents, we like to think that we know everything terrible that may have taken place in our children’s lives and that we would know early on if something traumatic had happened to our child.

That is just not true. You do not live your children’s lives, and things happen every day to our children, even when they are very young, that we are not privy to.

So, if your child seems to be having trouble coping and you sense that your child’s emotions or behaviors are just a little “off”, seek help. While there is no tidy checklist of signs to determine whether or not your teen has a mental health issue, you should be aware that the following should be evaluated:

o Thinking or talking about suicide

o Threats of self-harm or harm to others

o Excessive anger, hostility, or violent behavior

o Abuse of animals

o Trouble coping with problems and daily activities

o Expressions of worthlessness or guilt

o Excessive anxiety

o Prolonged sadness or depression or apathy

o Marked changes in eating or sleeping patterns; excessive sleeping or sleeping too much; lethargy

o Little interest in activities once enjoyed

o Notable personality change

There are many other changes in behavior that you should be aware of, but if any of these are present, it’s best to seek help from a mental health professional as soon as possible.

The above material was taken from Deborah Clark Ebel’s book, The Forgotten Future: Adolescents in Crisis.