Expert Top Tips: How to spot signs of mental health problems in your child

Each week we will be bringing you top tips from experts in their field. This week we have been reading advice from Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. We have gathered together their top tips on spotting the warning signs of developing mental illness in children. The pandemic has proven to be having a devastating effect on children and their mental health. It is imperative that we learn how to support them and how to recognise when there may be signs of mental illness developing.

1. Withdrawing from, or avoiding social interactions

If a child is no longer interacting with friends and even family members, becoming isolated or appear to be withdrawing from you.

2. Outbursts or extreme irritability

For children whose tantrums continue as they get older and become something that is not developmentally appropriate, causing problems with peers, family or at school, professional help may be needed. Anger is one of the main reasons children are referred for mental health treatment.

3. Drastic changes in mood, behaviour or personality

 A sudden, major change in personality and/or behaviour, particularly one that is not related to an obvious event (such as taking a drug or losing a loved one), often indicates a problem.

4. Difficulty sleeping

Sleeping problems can be a symptom of poor mental health. For example, poor quality sleep, difficulties falling and staying asleep, as well as sleeping too much, can all be linked to depression.

5. Out-of-control behaviour that can be harmful

Sometimes, ongoing challenging behaviour can indicate other health issues or an underlying developmental, social or emotional problem. If this behaviour becomes harmful to themselves or to others, it is important that you seek advice as soon as possible.

6. Persistent sadness — two or more weeks

Although fears and worries are typical in children, persistent or extreme forms of fear and sadness could be due to anxiety or depression. 

7. Frequent headaches or stomachaches

Physical symptoms are often the way children experience anxiety. Stomach aches in the morning before school, headaches when there’s a math test on the schedule. These physical symptoms may be the first evidence a parent has that a child is anxious.

You can find out more information about Children's Mental Health here >>>

If you need any further advice or support about your child's mental health, there are a range of service which you can contact including: Barnardo's, YoungMinds, MindEd for families the NSPCC and your local NHS or practice.

Top 10 Tips: Fun Activities for Babies and Toddlers
It is Baby Week Leeds! To support this incredible initiative we are listing our Top 10 Baby Best Ideas and Activities - first up the Rainbow Factory owner offering her personal experience with Top 10 Activities to do at home with your Baby and Toddler.
Read More
Have you heard? We've added an extra date!
*NEW DATE ADDED DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND!*Our Virtual Santa's Story Grotto will now take place on the 12th AND 13th of December, and places are selling out fast!
Read More
Mental Health and 7 Wonders of the Imagination
Its Mental Health Week! The number of children experiencing mental health problems is increasing at an alarming rate, we must support our children and provide them with strong building blocks to overcome mental health. Creativity and engaging in the arts can benefit individual and community health, from spreading public health messages, to supporting wellbeing in isolation. The Greater Manchester i-THRIVE Arts, Culture and Mental Health programme was established to build on the known links betwe
Read More