May is National Mental Health Month, and May 2-8 marked Children's Mental Health Week.
Every child's mental health is important.
Many children have mental health problems. These problems are real, painful and can be severe. Mental health problems need to be recognized and treated.
Parents who talk with their children about what is happening in their lives are better able to guide their children toward positive mental health. Caring families and communities working together make a difference.
Fast facts for parents
* Kids who say other students bully them at school are 50 percent more likely to admit they brought weapons to school during the past month than students who've never bullied or been bullied. (NICHHD, 2003)
* Nearly 4 percent of boys and more than 6 percent of girls have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by violence they have endured or witnessed. (JCCP, 2003)
* Although as many as 8.1 million Americans age 12 and older have tried the illegal "club drug" Ecstasy, only 1 percent of American parents believe their children have taken the drug. (PDFA, 2002)
* Five to 9 percent of children in the United States have a serious emotional disturbance. (USSG, 1999)
* About 13 percent of children between ages 9 and 17 have an anxiety disorder. (USSG, 1999)
* Between 3 and 5 percent of school-age children have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. (USSG, 1999)
* An estimated 1 percent of teenage girls in the United States develop anorexia nervosa, and up to 10 percent of those may die as a result. (AABA, 2001)
* Nearly two-thirds of boys and three-quarters of girls in juvenile detention centers have a psychiatric disorder. (AGP, Dec. 2002)
* Only about 21 percent of children in the United States who need mental health services actually receive them. (AJP, Sept. 2002)
* About every two hours, a young person kills himself or herself. (AAS, 2002)
* Three million teenagers have considered suicide or attempted suicide in the past year. (SAMHSA, 2002)
* Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people under age 24 after accidents and homicide. (CDC, 2002)
* Families with children constitute the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population -- 41 percent, up from 34 percent in 2000. (NCH, 2003)
This information is from the National Mental Health Association's National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.
National Mental Health Association
2001 N. Beauregard St., 12th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone (703) 684-7722
Fax (703) 684-5968
Mental Health Resource Center 800-969-NMHA
TTY Line 800-433-5959
(Spotlight on Children's Mental Health is sponsored by the Crow Wing County Local Advisory Council on Children's Mental Health.)
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