Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How Mental Health Care is Changing for Kids

How Mental Health Care is Changing for KidsMental health problems often begin insidiously in early childhood. In the past, not much was done to alleviate obvious behavioral diversions from the norm. Children grew to adulthood without mental health intervention, which created serious deficits in their social and economic potential. Today parents and educational professionals are more aware of signs indicating emotional or behavioral changes and the intervention necessary. Here are some other ways mental health has been changing for kids in recent years.

The Landscape is Changing

Recent news of shootings and violence in schools has focused attention squarely upon mental health and the nation’s failing system for it, especially in troubled kids. Various solutions have been proposed, but the most integrative interventions use behavioral strategies that help a child to adjust and restore normal day-to-day function without outbursts or disruption.

Focus on Family

Behavior begins at home and often disruptions in the family are so pervasive that is causes a child continual anger, preoccupation, and tearfulness. Interventions by licensed behavioral health degree holders can be provided right in the child’s home, eliminating the fear of strange, therapeutic surroundings, and upping successful treatment by engaging family members in the therapy. Assisting parents to manage difficulties at an early state may circumvent later mental disability this way.

Early Intervention

Children can display a wide range of behaviors in quite a short time, from tears and tantrums to angelic smiles. However, certain persistent behavioral disruptions, such as self-destructive actions, changes in appetite, or a return to the behaviors of a toddler, like bedwetting, are cause for concern. Children are developing physically and mentally at a rapid rate. Behavioral aberrations can easily become an integral part of ongoing habits and thus, hard to change.

Reports are Important

Insights from those who engage with your child, such as teachers and babysitters can be very enlightening. Teachers and caregivers are now trained to recognize behavioral and emotional problems and to report the issues. Behavioral therapy and coping mechanisms from a mental health practitioner can be incorporated into learning activities to focus upon positive changes for a child. Studies in behavioral health are a definite plus in the classroom, both for teachers and professionals.

Affordability of Behavioral Therapy

Parents often see unusual behavior in children as stages of growing. Families may be economically challenged, so mental health treatment for a child may come second to physical well-being. Medicaid, CHIP, and the Affordable Care Act can assist eligible families to receive behavioral health-care services at reduced or no cost. If the family income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, CHIP can fill the gap for those who cannot afford private health-care coverage.

It is becoming obvious that mental illness doesn’t always just happen to people. It often begins very insidiously in childhood and becomes fixed in aberrant behaviors. This crucial insight is the focal point of mental health care changes for children.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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