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Understanding Children's Mental Health

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Nearly 1 in every 5 youth in the U.S. has a mental health challenge with the potential to severely impair them during their lifetimes.

What are some of the mental health challenges that kids face?

Anxiety disorders are the most common challenges, followed by behavior disorders, mood disorders, and substance abuse disorders.  Children of all ages can also experience developmental delays, communication difficulties, social-emotional struggles, and learning disabilities. 

Physical and sexual abuse, family violence, parental separation, emotional neglect, and substance misuse within a household can also be significant stressors for children. These are called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

When do mental health issues emerge? 

Mental health issues can emerge as early as between birth and age 5.

What’s the risk of not helping kids with mental health challenges?

Undetected psychiatric disorders can have irreversible long-term consequences for the children, their families, and their communities.

76% of children ages 3-5 who were expelled from preschool had ACEs. And almost 50% of adolescents in high school with mental health problems drop out of school.

The good news is that children aged 6-17 with two or more ACEs who receive treatment are over three times more likely to be engaged in school.

What programs exist to help?

The earlier we identify and treat children with mental health issues, the better chance they will have for successful adult lives.
Funds raised by Cycle of Support help provide:
  • Early childhood intervention programs in underserved neighborhoods
  • Clinical support in a variety of community-based settings such as child care centers, homeless shelters, and domestic violence shelters
  • Services at a therapeutic nursery, including play therapy, music therapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy for preschoolers
  • Therapeutic support for parents at mental health clinics in dedicated Child Development Centers  
  • School-based mental health programs that give students individual therapy sessions, a safety net for low-income students who would otherwise have no access to mental health services